For immediate release

The Five Year Freeze today renewed its commitment to a 
moratorium on the commercial growing of GM crops in the UK, 
in anticipation of tomorrow's report from the Environmental 
Audit Committee evaluating the GM Field Scale Evaluations 
and despite the Governments intention to push ahead with 
the commercialisation of GM maize.

Freeze Director Clare Devereux said "Ministers have been 
using the results of the FSEs to justify growing GM maize 
in the UK.  The Freeze is arguing that more research needs 
to be done before any commercial growing of GM maize is 
allowed as the trials were invalid for a number of reasons.  
However, the FSEs are only one part of the GM jigsaw and 
the Government should be looking at much wider evidence to 
inform their decisions, not least the huge public 
resistance to GM in this country."

"There is mounting evidence from countries already growing 
GM crops that they are experiencing contamination of non-GM 
and organic crops as well as facing messy legal battles 
over who is to blame and who should pay compensation.  The 
Government appears to be keen to ignore this evidence and press 
ahead anyway which would undoubtedly bring these problems to 
the UK."  

The Five Year Freeze campaign was five years old in February 
and has received an overwhelming mandate from its 125 [1] 
supporting organisations to continue the campaign.  We have 
just reviewed our position statement which concludes that the 
majority of our original concerns have not been addressed and 
that the recent evidence from Government funded research 
highlights the fact that those concerns are still very relevant.

The Five Year Freeze is renewing its call for:

Full protection of consumer choice not to grow or eat GM products, 
including products from animals fed on GM food, through stricter 
labelling regulations and lower contamination thresholds

Protection of the non-GM food chain from contamination to a 
level not detectable at 0.1% for all non-GM crops 

Strict liability laws for environmental and economic harm 
arising from contamination to a level of 0.1% caused by growing 
GM crops, including the costs of preventing and detecting 
contamination to be borne by the industry that produces and 
profits from developing them

Independent assessment of the implications of patenting genetic 

Independent assessment of the social and economic impact of 
genetic engineering on farmers

Long term, independent research on the safety and impacts of 
GM food for humans, animals and the environment that is open, 
transparent and trusted by the public.  This should include 
assessment of the impact of GM crops on soil micro-organisms, 
farmland ecology the implications of pollen distribution 

A ban on the cultivation of herbicide tolerant GM sugar beet 
and oil seed rape based on the evidence of the farm scale 
evaluations and a ban on the cultivation of GM maize until 
further research has evaluated the environmental impact of 
commercial production

A ban on the growing of GM crops which could lead to genetic 
contamination of native species

Thorough consideration of alternatives to genetic engineering 
in the global food supply

A rejection of the use of hunger and malnutrition faced by 
the developing world as a justification for commercialisation 
of GM crops in the UK

[1] Five Year Freeze supporters are:

Action Aid

Action Against Allergy

Additives Survivors' Network

Agricultural Christian Fellowship

African Initiatives

Baby Milk Action

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union

Biodynamic Agricultural Association

Black Environmental Network

Body Shop International PLC

British Allergy Foundation

British Association of Fair Trade Shops

British Association of Nature Conservation

British Naturopathic Association


Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales

Campaign to Protect Rural England

Catholic Institute International Relations

Centre for Alternative Technology

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Christian Aid

Christian Ecology Link

Communities Against Toxics

Compassion In World Farming

Corporate Watch


Earthshare Ltd


Ecology Building Society


Elm Farm Research Centre

Ethical Consumer


Farm-A-Round Ltd

Farming and Livestock Concern

Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens

Find Your Feet

Food Commission

Food for Health Network

Food Poverty Network

Forum for the Future

Fresh Food Company

Freshlands UK

Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth Scotland

Gaia Foundation
Gardeners GMO Group

GE Free Forests

Genetics Food Alert
Genetics Forum

GeneWatch UK

GM-Free Cymru

GMO Campaign

Good Gardeners Association

Green & Blacks

Green Books

Green Network

Green Party


Guild of Fine Food Retailers

Guild of Food Writers

Harvest Help


Health Food Manufacturer's Association

Help International Plant Protein Organisation (HIPPO)

Hyperactive Children's Support Group

Iceland Foods

Institute for Science in Society

Intermediate Technology Development Group

International Society for Ecology and Culture

Islamic Concern

Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environment Sciences

Living Lightly

Local Government Association

Longhouse Food Consultancy

Maternity Alliance


National Association of Health Stores

National Federation of Women's Institutes

National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd

Natural Law Party

Natures Store Ltd.

Neal's Yard Bakery

Neal's Yard Remedies

New Economics Foundation

New Internationalist

Noah Project

Organic Farm Foods Wales

Organic Gardening

Organic Shop

Organics Direct


People & Planet

Permaculture Association UK

Permaculture Magazine

Permanent Publications

Pesticides Action Network UK

Plamil Food

Planet Organic

Positive News

Pret A Manger

Pro-natural Food Scotland


Scientists for Global Responsibility

Scottish Beekeepers Association

Small Farms Association

Soil Association

Student Environment Network


The Harbour

Townswomen's Guilds

Traidcraft Plc

Triodos Bank


Vegan Society

Vegetarian Society

Vetwork UK

Vinceremos Wines & Spirits Ltd

Welsh Beekeepers Association

Whole Earth Foods Ltd

Wholesome Food Association

Wildlife Trusts

Womankind Worldwide

Women's Environmental Network

Woodland Trust

World Development Movement

World Wide Fund for Nature

Carrie Stebbings
The Genetic Engineering Alliance
94 White Lion Street
N1 9PF
Tel: 020 7837 0642/01273 822700
Fax: 020 7837 1141

Return to Genetically Modified Food - News