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GMO-FREE PRODUCTS: UK Real Bread Campaign mounts anti-GM wheat pledge



                                  PART 1


------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   REAL BREAD CAMPAIGN MOUNTS ANTI-GM WHEAT PLEDGE

SOURCE:  Bakery and Snakcs, France

AUTHOR:  Oliver Nieburg

URL:     http://www.bakeryandsnacks.com/Regulation-Safety/Real-Bread-Campaign-mounts-anti-GM-wheat-pledge

DATE:    19.04.2012

SUMMARY: "The Real Bread Campaign has mounted an anti-GM wheat pledge in protest over genetically modified wheat trials by a research institute in the UK. Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire is to begin field testing a GM wheat over the next two years which is modified to repel aphids, plant lice that can destroy wheat. The Real Bread Campaign fears the GM wheat could be commercialised for food use. It claims that GM wheat presents a risk to non-GM crops and contends that aphids can be controlled naturally."

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REAL BREAD CAMPAIGN MOUNTS ANTI-GM WHEAT PLEDGE

The Real Bread Campaign has mounted an anti-GM wheat pledge in protest over genetically modified wheat trials by a research institute in the UK.

Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire is to begin field testing a GM wheat over the next two years which is modified to repel aphids, plant lice that can destroy wheat.

The Real Bread Campaign fears the GM wheat could be commercialised for food use. It claims that GM wheat presents a risk to non-GM crops and contends that aphids can be controlled naturally.

Today the Campaign, along with GM Freeze and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union submitted an anti-GM wheat pledge to the UK?s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) signed by over 350 bakers, millers, farmers and consumers.

Risk to non-GM crops

Rothamsted Research developed a genetically modified version of the wheat variety Candenza that produces a chemical compound to ward off aphids.

The Real Bread Campaign?s Chris Young told BakeryAndSnacks.com: ?We believe that at best aphids will simply end up on the crops of the poor farmers neighbouring those growing this purposefully mutated new strain of wheat.

?Worse could be the contamination of the food of people ethically opposed to GMOs, and the potential negative impact on human health and environment, as we have seen this week in the Portland State University study reporting a particular GM corn?s effect on the overall health of soil ecosystems.?

Letter to Defra

In a letter to Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for Defra, the Real Bread Campaign et al said: ?The existence of viable methods to ensure that aphids do not damage wheat yields means that it is unnecessary to take risks to the environment and health which are inherent in GM technology.?

?The presence of GM wheat in fields and the food chain will almost certainly lead to contamination of non-GM wheat and impose unnecessary additional costs on farmers who grow wheat and companies who use it for food or feed. ?

The letter warned that manufacturers could suffer income loss and reputational damage should their GMO-free products be contaminated with a GM crop.

?Such contamination could result in costly legal actions by those who have been damaged by the presence of GM wheat as has happened following GM rice contamination in the US,? continued the letter.

It said that it would take extensive long-term trials to determine whether GM wheat was safe and did not taint non-GM crops.

Natural pest control

The Real Bread Campaign says that aphids can be controlled naturally by providing suitable habitats for aphid predetors in nearby fields.

It argues that the money spent on GM wheat research should be withdrawn and should instead go towards developing natural ways to protect crops from aphids.

Signatories to the Real Bread Campaign letter have pledged not to buy GM wheat or use it for their businesses.



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   WHO WANTS TO BAKE WITH GM WHEAT?

SOURCE:  The Scottish Farmer, UK

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/who-wants-to-bake-with-gm-wheat.17357124

DATE:    19.04.2012

SUMMARY: "ANTI-GM CAMPAIGNERS presented Defra with a genetically-modified pastie this week, to highlight their objections to the current open-air trial of biotech wheat at the Rothamstead Research Station. ?There is no market for GM wheat anywhere in the world, so any accidental escapes from this trial will have devastating consequences,? warned the protestors. ?We know from experiences in North America that experiments can and do leak into the food chain, and cost farmers millions in lost exports."

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WHO WANTS TO BAKE WITH GM WHEAT?

ANTI-GM CAMPAIGNERS presented Defra with a genetically-modified pastie this week, to highlight their objections to the current open-air trial of biotech wheat at the Rothamstead Research Station. ?There is no market for GM wheat anywhere in the world, so any accidental escapes from this trial will have devastating consequences,? warned the protestors.  ?We know from experiences in North America that experiments can and do leak into the food chain, and cost farmers millions in lost exports. This GM wheat contains parts of a virus, traits for antibiotic-resistance, and man-made genes ?most similar to that of a cow?, it is hardly surprising no one would want to eat it.? Campaigners insist that the GM trial presents a clear risk to UK farming, and have urged the government to pull it up, adding that ?if the government won?t resolve this problem, we?ll be forced to publicly remove the plot ourselves.?



                                  PART 3

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   WARBURTONS DENIES SIGNING CAMPAIGNERS? GM PLEDGE

SOURCE:  Food Manufacture, UK

AUTHOR:  Freddie Dawson & Mike Stones

URL:     http://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Ingredients/Warburtons-denies-signing-campaigners-GM-pledge

DATE:    20.04.2012

SUMMARY: "Bakery giant Warburtons has denied claims that it signed a pledge protesting about genetically modified wheat, written by pressure group GM Freeze and others. A Warburtons? spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: ?It is not a true statement. Can you tell us more about the source of this information?? She confirmed that Warburtons uses no GM products. Operating 13 bakeries with a similar number of depots, the firm employs 4,500 people and produces 2M products a day."

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WARBURTONS DENIES SIGNING CAMPAIGNERS? GM PLEDGE

Bakery giant Warburtons has denied claims that it signed a pledge protesting about genetically modified (GM) wheat, written by pressure group GM Freeze and others.

A Warburtons? spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: ?It is not a true statement. Can you tell us more about the source of this information?? She confirmed that Warburtons uses no GM products.

Operating 13 bakeries with a similar number of depots, the firm employs 4,500 people and produces 2M products a day.

Manufacturers can use GM ingredients that have been approved by the European Food Safety Authority. But any GM ingredient in a product must be clearly labelled, according to the Food Standards Agency

A spokesman for GM Freeze told FoodManufacture.co.uk: ?22 companies have signed the pledge including Warburtons and the Co-op.?

The pledge, created by the Real Bread Campaign (RBC), the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers? union (BFAWU) together with GM Freeze, confirmed signatories:

- ?Will not buy GM wheat or any products containing GM wheat.

- Will not use GM wheat in our business.

- Do not want GM wheat or the risks it brings our food chain and countryside.

- Want the money spent on GM wheat to be used for non-GM agricultural research.?

The RBC ? organised by the pressure group Sustain ? delivered a letter detailing the pledge commitments to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) yesterday (April 19th).

Deep concerns

A separate letter delivered to Caroline Spelman, DEFRA secretary of state, warned of ? ... deep concerns about the testing of GM wheat at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire?.

The organisers claim that the pledge had been signed by 350 bakers, millers, farmers and consumers.

Ian Hodson, BFAWU president, said: ?Our members feel that there are too many unknowns and risks associated with GM food.

?We believe the health and wellbeing of people should be put before profit, and people have the right to know what?s in their food.?

But Dominc Dyer, chief executive of the Crop Protection Association, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that consumer attitudes to GM crops were changing ? particularly among younger people.

Scientific breakthrough

?GM is still a very controversial issue but attitudes are beginning to change. The younger generations are starting to look at any scientific breakthrough that could prove beneficial,? he said.

Dyer described publicly-funded research at Rothamsted into GM wheat that can naturally repel aphids as?vital?. The research offered benefits, through cutting the use of pesticides, and separating GM from commercial giants that have helped to give it a bad name, he said.

Dr Darren Hughes, head of communications at Rothamsted, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: ?We would be pleased to provide a platform where representatives from their [Anti-GM]groups and Rothamsted could present their perspectives on this issue.

? Our scientists will also be on hand to listen to the protestors? concerns and to discuss the trial.?