A farmer from Whitchurch, Oxfordshire, is campaigning against genetic engineering.
Sir Julian Rose, who owns the Hardwick Estate, fears genetically modified organisms could harm humans if they make their way into food. He has erected a sign outside his estate stating that it is a “GMO-free zone” and wants neighbouring farmers to follow suit:
“I’m urging farmers and landowners who are growing GMO-free foods to make the public aware of this fact by putting up a sign.
“We don’t trust or want GMO food. The public are interested in seeing and finding access to good-quality, flavourful and local foods grown by environmental farming methods. They no longer trust the big corporations and supermarkets or the Government with these issues.
“Cross-contamination is not just a threat to the environment, where neighbouring crops could be polluted, but also a direct threat to animal and human health.”
A recent study in France showed genetically modified plants were harmful to rodents. GM maize was fed to rats over two years, their normal lifespan, and the animals suffered kidney failure and tumours.
Sir Julian said: “The results produced conclusive evidence that we’re endangering human health by allowing genetically modified organisms into the food chain.
“When a maize crop is sprayed with herbicide, it destroys the weeds in the field but not the genetically-modified crop.
“In effect, it means that we’re getting both the negative effects of the herbicide and the GMO if we ingest it.”
In France, GMOs are banned but Britain supports further research. Sir Julian wants the Government to act and said: “It’s so important we take a position on this and declare that the food coming off our farms will not carry the risks to our health shown by this study.”
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Next: much interesting news re GM-free Cymru and EFSA