Genetically modified foods

Genetic modification takes gene(s) from one organism and places them in another, between species which are not related (unlike traditional cross-breeding). For example a gene from an Arctic Flounder (fish) in GM tomatoes and strawberries keeps them firm for longer.

Because GM foods are so new, relatively little research has been undertaken and the effects on the environment are currently unknown.

Actions

  • Buying organic food is a sure way to avoid GM foods, as organic standards ban the use of genetically modified organisms at every stage from animal feed to food processing.
  • You can check your local supermarket's policy on removing GM foods from own brand products.

Contacts

  • The 'Five Year Freeze Campaign' is a campaign which calls for a freeze on all growing, importing and patenting of GM crops.
    Tel 020 7837 0642
  • The Food Standards Agency is responsible for food labelling.
    Tel 020 7276 8000
    www.food.gov.uk
  • The Genetic Engineering Network provides information on all aspects of genetic engineering, publishes a newsletter and has an email information list.
    Archway Resource Centre, 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ
    Tel 020 7272 1586
    email genetics@gn.apc.org