South Warwickshire GM Action Group
National Rally visits GM crop site in Warwickshire
On Saturday 9th March around 200 people attended the national rally in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire opposing the growing of Genetically Modified crops. Speakers addressed the rally prior to it visiting a field of GM crops near the village of Long Marston, 5 miles away. A parade lead by musicians left the village at 2.45 to visit the GM crops, about 10 minutes walk away. Colourful costumes, a giant bee, banners, local people, families as well as campaigners from around the country joined together in this peaceful and light hearted parade. Most of the procession, dressed in white suits, followed the public footpath towards the field, to bear witness to the genetic pollution growing there. About 100 people went onto the field to pull up the crop, and after about 1/2 an hour, the police moved in to arrest people. They made 5 arrests, and the charges are likely to be for criminal damage. No security guards or farm workers were on the field.
A Warwickshire Police spokesman said "We were treating it as a peaceful protest, but it did go beyond that," he said. He was obviously unaware that his officers were to be seen enjoying tea and cakes provided by the local WI, in the village hall, with the protesters after the event.
- Pictures are available online at geneticsaction.org.uk or print quality by phoning 020 7272 1586
- Genetically Modified oilseed rape is being grown at Forest Farm, Long Marston. Last year a survey carried out in the village showed that the majority of residents do not want GM crops. Scores of letters have been written to MPs, Local Authorities, and the farmer himself asking for the trial to be stopped. Local people held a well attended public meeting at the time of sowing in October to demand action from the Government and Aventis, the biotech company who manufacture the GM crops. The trial was even reported to the police for the criminal damage that could be caused through contamination of neighbouring crops rendering them unsaleable!
Mick Davies, Green Party Local Councillor said
"Public consultation about this trial and trial sites across the country - has been pitifully tokenistic, considering the huge risks posed by GM crops to our own food and the wider ecosystem"
Media Contact: Jenny Sansom / Jane Green or Tom Hellberg on
The rally at Stratford was addressed by Becky Price (Genewatch), Dr John Latham (genetic scientist and organic farmer), Christian Taylor (presenting the "Local Food Roadshow" of the International Society for Ecology and Culture), and Helena Paul (Econexus)