GM crops are on their way to England, post-Brexit. Not only could this be a ‘devastating own goal’ for our farmers, according to Friends of the Earth – but it could also be a health hazard.
So Mums, let’s use our consumer power to keep GMOs and deadly herbicides out of the food we, our children, and our children’s children eat. You can read our article on the subject in The Ecologist here. And if people say to you ‘you are causing children to starve and go blind’, or ‘we’ve been genetically modifying food for centuries so it must be ok’ – these are falsehoods and it’s important to point that out. One of the best weapons of the GMO industry is lack of information amongst the general public. Let’s stop that from being the case.
Are you dreaming of a GM-free Christmas, just like the ones you used to know? We are.
Unless you are a strict vegan, navigating your way around GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in Christmas fare can be as tricky as trying to walk across a floor covered in prickly pine needles, but it’s possible. And even if you are vegan or vegetarian, it can be a bit of a minefield – watch out in particular for GM soya.
Here are our tips for enjoying a GM-free Christmas:
If a turkey is not organic, the chances are it has been raised with feed containing GMOs and glyphosate residues, since the majority of imported soya and corn used for animal and poultry feed is now GM. The flesh, eggs and milk products of animals given GM feed may contain traces of genetically modified DNA and potentially carcinogenic glyphosate and are best avoided. These products have not been proven safe to eat by bodies independent of the GM industry – quite the reverse – and may well pose a threat to health when eaten over the long term.
We are demanding that supermarkets source GM-free feed and label any products from animals fed a GM diet (see news about our petition in the previous post), but in the meantime, the only way to guarantee that your eggs, cheese, fish, poultry and meat have been raised on a GM-free diet is to buy organic.
You can source organic turkey from some of the UK suppliers listed below – and an internet search will yield many more suppliers, so look for one near you. Look in particular for grass-fed poultry and game, since this is the natural diet of these creatures and has a highly beneficial effect on the nutrient value of its flesh.
It’s not enough just to be ‘free-range’ – this is a very liberally-interpreted label which usually means that the turkey spends its life indoors in a space no bigger than a newspaper, and it will still be given GM feed.
Go vegetarian or vegan
By eating mainly or solely vegetarian food you can bypass the issue of non-organic animal produce being given GM feed. If you are vegetarian, avoid non-organic cheese, milk and other dairy products. During the festive season, be aware that Christmassy snacks such as sausage rolls, smoked salmon and other snacks are unlikely to be organic.
If you are considering a vegetarian or vegan Christmas dinner, there are endless celebratory creations you can try. Here are some suggestions for meat-free Christmas meals from Yotam Ottolenghi, Jamie Oliver and Ella Woodward:
Whatever you choose to eat at Christmas, or at any other time of year, we hope you will join us in striving to make sure it makes a positive contribution to health and well-being – yours and that of the planet.
And in the spirit of giving, if you haven’t yet signed our petition to label all GM-fed animal foods in the UK we hope you will take a moment to do that now!
Here is our new petition demanding that UK supermarkets label their GM-fed animal produce – which means most non-organic meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs.
Please sign and share if you agree we should have the right to choose what is in our food!
We are pleased to have joined the new Pesticide Safe Bristol Alliance, a group of campaigners who aim to make Bristol a greener, safer Green Capital by following in the footsteps of several US cities and countries such as Germany, Argentina, Switzerland, Colombia, and Costa Rica who are moving towards banning chemical weedkillers and in particular glyphosate due to health concerns.
Click here to read an article about the Alliance in the Bristol Evening Post .
Please check out the GM Free Me site and add your photo and comment to the growing list of supporters which includes people from around the UK, including renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, organic entrepreneur Jo Wood, musician Daddy G (Massive Attack), gardener Alys Fowler, photographer Mary McCartney, Mr Universe Barny Du Plessis, and chefs Jasmin & Melissa Hemsley, Valentine Warner and Arthur Potts Dawson, as well as many others!
The Letter from America is a letter signed on behalf of 60 million Americans warning the UK not to grow GM crops or eat GM food because of the damage these can do to health and the environment.
This was delivered to Downing Street by organisers Beyond GM and their US partners from GMO Free USA and Label GMOs in November 2014. Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, celebrity chef Walentine Warner and the late Michael Meacher MP came along to support the initiative.
Since its launch the Letter has been translated into 8 languages and been read all around the world. We strongly encourage everyone to read the Letter and use the links on site to send a copy to your MP demanding that the UK remain GMO free.