Sneaky GM Plantings In Shropshire
Telford FOE has been trying for the last three years to keep abreast of local
GM plantings in Shropshire. After uncovering the presence of unpublicised GM
plantings, knowledge of which was denied by the local MP, Peter Bradley and the
then DETR despite MAFF knowing, Telford FOE has continued to seek assurances
that there are no more unpublicised GM plantings in Shropshire.
To their surprise, the new ministry DEFRA seems unable to give a categorical
assurance that there are no unpublicised GM plantings. Despite appreciating
the work that Michael Meacher has done to promote transparency, it appears that
the official rhetoric on transparency and accountability falls short when one
asks the concrete question. Is this because there continues to be GM plantings
done by or for GM companies which DEFRA is officially unaware of? The same MP
has been approached and has not thus far given an assurance about unpublicised
GM plantings within his own constituency area.
With rumours that the new site register of GM plantings demanded by European
legislation may not be implemented into UK law to require full location details,
it seems important to push for assurance that the locations of all GM plantings
will be known to local people. Telford FOE will continue to ask the MP to remedy
the apparent deficit in accountability to local people so that local non-GM farmers
can assess the dangers of contamination of their produce.