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The anti-GM brigade are calling out for a public decontamination of the open air trial of new genetically modified strain of wheat.

According to organisers “ Take the Flour Back will be a nice day out in the country, with picnics, music from Seize the Day and a decontamination. It’s for anyone who feels able to publically help remove this threat and those who want to show their support for them.”

Meet Rothamsted Park, Harpenden, Herts (30 mins from London by train) 12 noon on 27th May.

At 1.30 a walk will be taken to the field

The wheat being trialled by Rothamsted agricultural research establishment incorporates two chemically synthesised genes and is designed to put off aphids by emitting pheremones. The two genes that will pull off this wizardry are apparently a) “similar to that found in peppermint…” and more bizarrely b) have “most similarity to [one] from a cow…”. This is the first synthetic copy of an animal gene to be used in such a way and as such represent s a very wild stab in the dark.Open air trials carry massive risks of cross contamination and hybridization.

This trial marks a major step in the agri-corporations attempt to force GM foods back into the food chain and onto the nation's plate. This together with two UK trials of GM potatoes has been accompanied by a massive greenwash PR offensive, pretending that GM might be the answer to the issues of feeding a hungry world during a time of climate change.

In fact like many GM projects the wheat is an answer to a non-existent problem. The UK already has some of the highest wheat yields per hectare in the world. The wheat being grown is spring wheat, which in the UK doesn't really come under aphid attack, whereas the majority of wheat grown here is of course winter wheat.

For a whirlwind tour of how GM was forced back into Pandora's Box by us in our youth

For more



There are 2 comments on this story...
Added By: Anarchiste. - 10th April 2012 @ 9:28 PM
Monsanto best seller= Agent Orange.
Added By: Dan Olner - 23rd May 2012 @ 11:15 AM
Have you actually read Rothamsted's Q&A, or followed any of the recent discussion around 'contamination?' There's a vanishingly small risk from this trial. We already grow over 40 wheat varieties - they're self-pollinating, and the pollen is heavy, doesn't go far, dies after a few minutes and anyway isn't competitive with other plants. If that wasn't the case, the wheat grown in the UK now would have marched across the land. It hasn't and won't.

I'll quote from those for you. They're not just thinking about the UK: "Around 25% of wheat crops can be lost through insect pests, pathogens and viruses (Oerke 2006). These are usually controlled with chemical sprays, but repeated use of these, for example pesticides, often leads to resistant strains and kills other non-target insect species including the natural enemies of pest, which could have a further impact on biodiversity. The process of producing and spraying pesticides may also have an inevitable environmental impact.

"Whether this is a problem of politics, production or distribution is a complex issue, but as scientists we must responsibly explore all technologies at our disposal to help counteract this 'perfect storm'."
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