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GM-free spud rally

Jul 22

Written by:
22/07/2011 10:48  RssIcon

Join the 'spuds don't work' rally Saturday 23rd July, Norwich

Antonio Carluccio, the respected Italian food writer, cook and restauranteur, has given his strong support to a rally calling for an end to research into genetically modified (GM) potatoes.

Delegates from GM campaign groups across the country will gather with local people in Norwich city centre, to eat organic chips this coming Saturday. They will proceed by bicycle, tractor and coach to the John Innes Centre, where trials into GM blight resistant potatoes are taking place, and deliver a trailer-load of organic, blight-resistant potatoes to their door. They will also hear from speakers from across the anti-GM movemen.

The John Innes Centre has finally accepted an invitation to speak about their research to the crowd and receive the delivery of blight resistant potatoes.

When: Saturday 23rd July 2011, meeting at 12 noon, leaving for the John Innes Centre at 1pm.

Where: The Forum, Norwich, then moving on to the John Innes Centre, Norwich

On Sunday 24th, there will be a day long camp to plan the next stages of the campaign. Camping spaces are available from this afternoon for £7 a night.

Having cost around £1.7 million of public money already, more than 10 years of trials to find a GM blight-resistant potato at the John Innes Centre's Sainsbury's Laboratory near Norwich have spectacularly failed to achieve their goal.

Meanwhile, a small Welsh not-for-profit company, the Sarvari Research Trust has succeeded in breeding several varieties of blight resistant, non-GM, organically compatible potatoes using conventional breeding methods. These blight resistant potatoes have been commercially available to farmers for 3 years.

This raises the question: why continue with this extremely costly and unpopular GM research: the public don't want it, there is no consumer market for it, and at a time of austerity the money could be far better spent elsewhere.

Carluccio says: "The public do not trust genetically modified food and do not want to eat it. Why continue research into genetic modification, when normal breeding techniques can, and in this case already have delivered the answers: delicious, blight resistant, non-GM potatoes."

Lisa Smith, of organisers Stop GM, says: "People are gathering from all across the country to say firmly to the John Innes Centre: '˜This research must stop'. They are outraged at such a scandalous waste of taxpayers' money and do not want to see GM foods sold, used or grown in the UK."

More info from Stop GM.

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