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Protesters cut up GE wheat at the Royal Agricultural Show
Press release from Genetic Engineering Network, July 9th 1998.
At approximately 4.30pm, a group calling themselves the Kenilworth Croppers openly cut 75% of the Genetically Modified (GM) wheat that was on display at the Royal Agricultural Show, near Kenilworth, in protest against unnecessary genetic modification of our food.
The wheat, which has been developed by the IACR (Integrated Approach to Crop Research), is being produced for 'improved bread making qualities', had been kept under close guard at the show all week following the safe decontamination of their wheat test field in Rothampstead by the 'Lincolnshire Loppers' earlier this year.
The wheat will contain antibiotic marker genes, which could lead to antibiotic resistance in humans. The Government's own advisory body, the ACNFP (Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes) has ruled that these marker genes are unsafe and must be banned from future experiments. IACR have ignored the warning and are continuing to display their wheat as part of a 'public education project'. Today's action takes place against the backdrop of increasing public concern and action about the dangers of genetic modification.
Last week a group of women in the Oxfordshire area accountably decontaminated some genetically engineered plants. Yesterday English Nature and the RSPB repeated their calls for a moratorium on GE releases, and tomorrow a decision will be made by the courts on whether to grant a judicial review to protect the organic status of a Devonshire farm located close to a GM crop. 'People do not want or need this new technology. This is a development which is totally unnecessary, which could pose risks to our health and the environment. We are asking for the precautionary principle to be applied, to ensure that these crops are not grown until it is totally safe to do so' said Ruth Kelly, one of today's protesters.
For further details on this action and others contact:
Genetic Engineering Network PO BOX 9656
London N4 4JY
tel: 0181 374 9516 or
Manchester Against Genetic Engineering on: 0161 224 4846
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