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Genetic Engineering Network



The Genetic Engineering Network is a network of people opposed to the imposition of GM technology. All over the world, people are campaigning against genetically modified food, human and animal genetic engineering, and the bio-tech companies who are increasing their control over our lives and our environment. GEN includes local campaign and action groups NGOs, direct activists, and individuals campaigning against genetic engineering. The movement is diverse, exciting and growing all the time. GEN aims to support, link and publicise all parts of it.

2004: After GM Food - here comes Nano Food!

Genetix Update

ETC Group launch new report on Nanotechnology in food and agriculture

Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter at the scale of atoms and molecules, is rapidly converging with biotech and information technology to radically change food and agricultural systems. Over the next two decades, the impacts of nano-scale convergence on farmers and food will exceed that of farm mechanisation or of the Green Revolution. No government has developed a regulatory regime that addresses the nano-scale or the societal impacts of the invisibly small. A handful of food and nutrition products containing invisible and unregulated nano-scale additives are already commercially available. Likewise, a number of pesticides formulated at the nano-scale are on the market and have been released in the environment. "Down on the Farm" is the first comprehensive look at how nano-scale technologies will affect farmers, food and agriculture. Learn more about the effect on lean muscle mass.

Download the report
ETC Group

The Genetix Update is quarterly newsletter. It summarises the main developments on the very broad subject of genetic engineering as well as reporting on direct action against genetic engineering.

2004: Bayer drop last GM Crop varieties from UK commercialisation

Biotechnology news from Indymedia UK

On 09/11/04 Bayer CropScience removed the last 2 GM crop varieties still in the approval process for the UK national seed list. This is the final nail in the coffin for the commercial growing of the first generation of GM crops in the UK. Since 1994 58 different GM crop varieties have begun the process to be included on the UK national seed list and so be available for commercial growing. All 58 applications have now been abandoned.
When Bayer CropScience backed out of commercialising GM fodder maize (Chardon LL) back in spring 2004 they were full of claims about how this wasn't the end of their plans for GM crops in the UK and that they would be commercialising GM oilseed rape by 2008. This now seems to have been empty posturing to avoid loosing face, as the 2 varieties of GM oilseed rape that they still had in the commercialisation pipeline (PGS PHW99429 and PGS PH96s452) have now been abandoned.

Reposted from article on UK Indymedia
Independent on Sunday article

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues.

2004: Sainsbury's GM fed milk blockaded

Global biotech news from Biotech IMC

Sainsbury's chilled food distribution centres were blockaded across the country on 1st July in protest against GM feed being fed to dairy cows. Sainsbury?s five biggest UK distribution centres were shut down as environmentalists and consumers simultaneously blockaded the supermarket chain's chilled-goods depots in London ,Liverpool , Birmingham, Bristol and Sheffield . They were chained together through steel tubes, or sat up scaffold tripods, blocking the depot gates. The co-ordinated action was intended to halt distribution of Sainsbury's dairy products that come from cows fed GM animal feed.

For more information go to UK Indymedia , press release , video

Biotech IMCis an issue based Indymedia site dedicated to news on biotechnology and genetic engineering in agriculture, food, medicine as well as its relevance to globalisation. It is about struggles everywhere against the commodification of life, and about alternatives.


2004: GM animal feed campaign launched

Money and Job VS Business

A new coalition of farmers, environmental activists and scientists has formed to tackle the joint problems of GM feed and low farm gate prices. They've produced a leaflet to be distributed at Sainsburys stores around the country. Actions at Sainsbury's stores around the country are on going. Please ring for more information and leaflets.

Download Sainsburys leaflet PDF


2004: Genetix Update Spring 2004 issue 26

Issue 26 of the fantastic Genetix Update out now
8 pages of news of grassroots GM campaigning and actions in the UK and beyond.
Amaizing Grace - Bayer abandon Chardon LL
Wot no trials - only one UK GM field trial in 2004
Off with their heads - Bayer sack bioscience bosses
Special feature on supermarkets - reports on supermarket actions, stopping GM animal feed and spotting newly labelled GM foods
British Biopiracy - English Nature to allow bioprospecting in UK nature reserves
International news - from Australia (Bonza no canola!), New Zealand, US, Canada, India, Phillipines and the CBD in Malaysia

Download the Update PDF|TXT

2004: Soya Disaster in Argentina

As it becomes clear that we have all but halted the growing of GM crops in the UK comes a timely reminder that GM crops are still being grown on a vast scale elsewhere in the world with devastating effects. A report in the New Scientist magazine describes how a mixture of Monsanto's RoundUp Ready Soya and free market economics is wreaking havoc with Argentina's environment and agricultural systems.
New Scientist

2004: Gene Giants drop UK field trials

Hot on the heals of Bayer's withdrawal of Chardon LL comes yet another confirmation that all is not well for the UK GM crops industry. For the first time in over 10 years none of the Gene Giants (Syngenta, Monsanto and Bayer) are conducting any UK field trials of GM crops.

Bayer CropScience halted their UK field trials in autumn 2003 because the government refused to let them conceal the locations. It was expected that Syngenta (working in conjunction with Monsanto) would plant R&D trials of their #77 sugar beet this spring. In 2003 Syngenta notified DEFRA of their test site locations by mid February, but as of early April 2004 no notification of trial locations for this year has been received.

Several GM crops companies have crops with active consents for trials in 2004 but as yet it appears that only one trial notification has been received by DEFRA. For more information on this trial: DEFRA and geneticsaction.org.uk test site list

2004: Bayer Drop Chardon LL GM Maize

On March 31st Bayer withdrew the only GM crop close to approval for commercial growing in the UK. Bayer blame UK government regulation and caution for holding up the crop which is now technological and economically obsolete. It has taken Bayer over five years to get this one crop this close to commercial growing. The fact that it has taken so long and that it has now been dropped is the result of many crop trashings, lobbying, blockades, research and not a little consumer pressure.

Effectively this means that GM crops will not be grown commercially in the UK in the near future. Whilst this may not be the end of GM crops in the UK forever, this is a major victory that wouldn't have happened without 8 years of campaigning and direct action.

"The first time I saw Chardon LL in a field, I took a particular dislike to it"
- Anonymous crop trasher quoted on UK Indymedia

UK Indymedia report
Bayer Statement


2004: Stop GM maize growing- Grow organic sweetcorn!

GM Free Ryedale are encouraging people to grow organic maize in their gardens and allotments. In order to avoid contamination farmers wanting to grow GM fodder maize (Chardon LL) will have to consult with any other organic (or conventional) maize growers. The more people growing organic maize, the more people have to be consulted about any planned plantings of GM maize in their area, and the harder it will be for farmers to grow GM maize. GM Free Ryedale are compiling a national register of organic sweetcorn growers and are offering to post organic maize seed to anyone wanting to grow it. More information from GM Free Ryedale ()

2004: Boycott Bayer

Boycott Bayer is a new campaign designed to put pressure on Bayer to pull out of GM crops through a consumer boycott of Bayer products which include healthcare products, pharmaceuticals, gardening products and chemicals. More information on the campaign, as well as posters and leaflets from Boycott Bayer

Update 19/04/04 Boycott to continue despite Bayer dropping Chardon LL Boycott Bayer Press Release

2004: GM Animal Feed Supermarket actions

As a response to the threat of the commercialisation of Chardon LL GM fodder maize, GM campaigners across the country have turned their attention to the supermarkets. Their idea is simple, to stop the growing of GM fodder maize by making sure there is no market for it. They have been putting pressure on supermarkets to actively source only meat and dairy produce fed on GM free feed.
Recent supermarket actions: report photos

In 2000 Dutch dairy processors refused to buy milk from cattle fed on Chardon LL maize. As a result despite having full approval for its commercial growing, the company behind Chardon LL in the Netherlands never sold any seed and eventually sold their plant breeders rights for this variety back to Bayer.

2004: Bayer seek to stifle dissent


In February Bayer PLC succeeded in obtaining a high court injunction using anti-harassment legislation to effectively outlaw anti-GM protest on or near their property. Bayer became a focus for anti-GM protest over 2 years ago when the company announced its intention to buy Aventis CropScience. Bayer CropScience is now the major player in the commercialisation of GM crops in the UK. The injunction prohibits unauthorised anti-GM protest within exclusion zones around the property of Bayer PLC, and its UK subsidiaries, and the homes of their employees.

For more in depth information and comment on the injunction:
UK Indymedia 1 2 3 and Schnews
To see the injunction: Bayer PLC
Reports on recent actions on Bayer: Stop Bayer GM website


2003-4: Green Gloves Pledge

Green Gloves Pledge graphicThe Green Gloves Pledge is a pledge to take or support others who take, non-violent direct action to remove GM crops from the ground should the government give the go ahead for their commercial growing UK. For more information and to sign the pledge online go to www.greengloves.org

2003: Tractors and Trolleys (and feet and bikes)


photo of tractors on the parade October saw over twenty people travel take part in a 'pilgrimage to a GM free Britain'. they travelled by foot, bike, tractor or carnival float to take part in the Tractors and Trolleys parade in London The journeys were about both bearing witness to what had already been done to the land, and celebrating the past five years of diverse and successful resistance to GM. On Monday the 13th the pilgrims to a GM free Britain (and their five tractors) were joined by a thousand of others in a march through central London which passed the NFU headquarters, Downing Street and Whitehall. There was an incredible buzz to the afternoon, and a strong sense that we stood a real chance of defeating some of the most powerful corporations in the world.

Photos: Pilgrimage to a GM free BritainTractors and Trolleys


2003: Corporate Watch Poster and Briefings

As 3 corporations, Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta , push for the commercial growing of GM crops in the UK, Corporate Watch brings you the biotech family tree.

Biotechnology Family TreeThe Family Tree shows the complex tangle of name changes, spin-offs, joint ventures and acquisitions woven by the biotech industry during 10 years of rapid expansion, consolidation and crisis.

Corporate Watch have also produced a series of briefings on the three key biotechnology companies Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and an overview of the industry and its strategy for commercialisation.

2002: Message delivered to DEFRA

Deliver your message to Defra On Wednesday 24 July 2002, over 150 people held a colourful and peaceful demonstration at the Governments Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in London. They left large bags of GM crops from trial sites around Britain at the entrance. Read the press release.

No to GM crop commercialisation

2002: Pink castle appears in Dorset field

Pink castleOn April 25th a pink castle appeared at the site of a GM trial site in Littlemoor, near Weymouth. Protestors hope to use the fortification to defend the field against an invasion of GM maize later this year.

2002: Last Chance Rally

Last Chance pixReport and pictures from the 'Last Chance Rally' in Long Marston.

Resources section

UK GMO testsites list

Includes books, websites, videos, speakers, tapes, postcards and much more...

List of all GMO test sites in the UK. Including details of crop failures and decontaminations. Also features new clickable map testsite finder. Information from 1999 until present. Test site list


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