African Voices Join With UK Farmers: GM Is a False Solution to Hunger
WASHINGTON - On Sunday 27th May in Rothamsted Park, in addition to UK farmers and growers, Take the Flour Back will host voices from the Global South reaffirming their rejection of GM. Graciela Romero, International Programmes Director of UK development charity ‘War on Want’ and Gathuru Mburu, coordinator of the ‘African Biodiversity Network’, will speak on the global fight for control of our food supply.
Nathan Jones from Take the Flour Back says “We are delighted Mburu and Graciela are able to join us on Sunday, the voices of the people at the sharp end of the food system are rarely heard in the mainstream, but resistance to GM is global, and driven by bitter experience.” Mburu is visiting the UK for the launch of Seeds of Freedom (vimeo.com/30792307) a new film narrated by Jeremy Irons, exploring how large companies gain control of seed markets through use of genetic modification.
Mburu, who coordinates the African Biodiversity Network will be explaining that:
“Experimenting with staple crops is a serious threat to food security. Our resilience comes from diversity, not the monocultures of GM. Beneath the rhetoric that GM is the key to feeding a hungry world, there is a very different story – a story of control and profit. The globalisation of food markets has led to growing hunger, and the unrelenting greed of corporations who see the huge financial potential in controlling the global food system. The fact is that we need a diversity of genetic traits in food crops in order to survive worsening climates. Above all, people need to have control over their seeds”.
Under fire on a Five Live debate with Take the Flour Back this morning Prof. Huw Jones of Rothamsted Research continued to try and claim that the trial would never lead to patented products. This flies in the face of his own colleague, Prof. John Picket's announcement in Farmers Weekly last November that “it could be that we generate very good intellectual property for commercial development... That’s the long term plan”.
Graciela Romero Vasquez, War on Want’s International Programmes Director, says:
“War on Want supports the ‘Take the Flour Back’ campaign and the right to protest. We support the call to stop the GM wheat research at Rothamsted and any investment in genetically modified (GM) seeds. The UK government is providing £1.28 million from taxpayers’ money to this GM research. If it is successful, it will benefit private businesses and do nothing to reduce global hunger. The lead researchers from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have openly admitted their hopes for commercial success, even though this would mean agrochemical giants abusing their market dominance to push farmers into buying their packages. Hundreds of thousands of small-scale farmers have been driven to commit suicide precisely because of the burden of the debt incurred by buying such packages. The only way to stop the global hunger scandal and to feed the world’s population is by the realisation of the food sovereignty framework.”