GENTECH archive 8.96-97
In support of rather than critical
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: In support of rather than critical
- From: Jim McNulty <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 09:07:35 +0200
- Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
In Support of Savage!
I have for the best part of the last year been involved in this situation
and have in that time progressed to becoming a more complete human being
because of it. Partly because of the realisation that nothing is safe in
this life and the old adage 'you don't know what you have got till it's
The net has realised maturity in time for this crisis I thank all the
people that have contributed to the Ban-Gef Gentech and now the RTS
list.Which I follow on a daily basis.
I started collecting information about the Soya situation and have seen
this grow to the gross crisis that it has become.
Initially this began as an enquiry to Plamil Foods,about the news that soya
was to become adulterated.Arthur Ling,a founder member of the Vegan Society
and one of the innovators of Soya in the UK informed me of the exhaustive
efforts himself and his son Adrian were making to identify sources of
non-g/e soya from America.I informed Mr Ling of my access to the
internet,and thus that is where this all began.Up until October when John
Fagan developed the ID genetics test for isolating Pure Soya from G/E,I
didnt thing we had a chance.
The Pure Food campaign and The Natural Law Party were two of my first
contacts, as at that time Greenpeace had not made their presents felt,there
wasn't any information this side of the Atlantic.
I found out about the Nat Law Party having their annual general conference
in Skelmersdale,the first week in November, and decided to travel there to
contact others about this marginal issue.I found them to be intelligent
caring human beings and since have exchanged many peices of information
with them,being introduced to the Ban-gef list and a ready made network of
I began contacting food producers, baby milk manufacturers, soya, wholefood
and healthfood manufacturers too.All were hoarding as much of the previous
years crop as they could possibly purchase.I began to realise the concepts
of what was happening.
I began to gather the library of information that I currently hold,nearly
two thousand articles,gathered on a daily basis,this is a living library a
history of this situation.
I was invited to the Vegan Society annual conference.Held at the Conway
Hall in London in the first week in December, before it I contacted the
Vegetarian Society and asked if they had a Policy Document on G/E.They had
just compiled a Policy document and sent me a copy.I asked the Vegan
Society if they had a policy document which they had to admit was
controversial and had not yet compiled one.I read out the veg societies
statement and the hall exploded into action. That night I returned home to
discover Greenpeace had been fired on with plastic bullets in Barcelona.
On the following monday morning I received information of an emergency
debate in the Commons Fri 13th December. I contacted the MP Tony Benn
informing him of the Barcelona incident and of the allegation that illegal
imports of G/E maize had been sited, pre-approval,in Portugal.
I arrived at the Commons on the friday afternoon.I waited in the downstairs
lobby.There were no others from this country there, but myself and a
handful of foreign tourists there.The published list of the days business
did not include the debate on G/E labelling.I began to wonder what was
happening.I handed out leaflets about G/E and was promptly gripped by two
policeman.Demanding my right in my countries House of Democracy to Justice
I was duely informed I was going to be removed when an American Lady
intervened and demanded I should be left alone.
I was allowed into the public gallery, after two body frisks and a strip
search as well as three elecronic screenings.Whilst there I was agitated by
being refused a pencil or paper and having to listen over a special branch
officer talking throughout right behind me.I was sent a copy of the words
of the debate at a later date.
The debate was excellent The Rt Hon Mr Colin Pickthall Lab MP Lancashire
West put a very detailed list of questions to Angela Browning Ministry Of
Agriculture.One of the questions asked was pertaining the importation of
illegal Maize into the E/U block,which was then denied.The debate was
attended by three MP's a macrabre scenario when the purety of our food for
the rest of time was to be considered.
I stayed in London overnight and attended the Liverpool Dockers benefit
march the day after.Liverpool was the scence of the first shipload of G/E
Soya to come to this country,and had landed earlier that week.I was
introduced to the strikers by RTS and was succesful in handing out three
thousand leaflets that day.The march headed through the west end,it was an
amazing feeling being part of Socialisms revival in this country,ending at
the same place I had been in a short time before, Conway Hall.
I have since this time become involved with the Genetic Engineering Network
and more directly with Greenpeace
I have taken part in various conferences and have slugged it out with some
of bio-techs finest.I have also met academics that are some of this systems
greatest opponents.I have also recently addressed my local council, by
invitation, on gmo's though as re-election is nigh at national and local
level I couldn't have timed it worse, though there is an emergency food
committee which can convene whist re-elections are being introduced.
Where are we now with this situation? There is news of the E/U movement on
the labelling issue, precisely nowhere.Clinton has knee jerked and created
a breathing space by involving the EPA in the regulation of bio-tech as he
seeks to avert mistrust in his ability to control this insatiable monster.
If you hold any hope for the Codex meetings I don't after reading the
recommendations about labelling for the conference.
I remain frustrated by the uninformed majorities inability to grasp the
importance of what is happening and call upon everyone to educate all
around them to exactly what is happening.
I too become vexed to the point of explosion with the inequalities and lack
of justice that we as activists are experiencing,but I call upon all
members of these lists to respect the rights of all to voice opinion on
this subject and not to be hounded because they have temperarally lost
hope, possibly.The example of Mr Savage.I have met Andy at GEN meetings and
have found him to be intelligent and a live activist not an armchair one.
This struggle is going to last as long as we are prepared to spend hours in
front of the screen.When we stop the resistance will fail
I too wonder when this is going to end and when this monster is going to be
put to rest.Direct action is becoming the only way forward after listening
to months to MEP's demanding time to implement satifactory legislation,
then they reveal an even wider crack in the battlements till the fortress
is now becoming destroyed.
We cannot retreat much further.A final confrontation is coming.I cannot
stand by and see this lunacy destroy all before it.
Jim Mc Nulty
198 Norman Street
DE7 8NR............. Jim@niall7demon.co.uk