But now they're back again, as the government blitzes the population with a "shock and awe" attack of ruthless capitalist greed.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson revealed the pro-GM agenda when he recently said the EU was "putting British jobs at risk" by dragging its feet over GM crops.
He also made the absurd claim that millions of children in poor countries are "dying or going blind" because the GM has not been more widely adopted.
A piece of good news is that American GM giant Monsanto is "effectively" pulling out of Europe and dropping all of its requests to launch insect and pesticide-resistant forms of corn, sugar beet and soya beans, in the face of public opposition across the contintent.
But that doesn't necessarily tell the whole story. Local anti-GM campaigners will be at the meeting with latest information.
Meanwhile, the government's road and house-building plans have been described as the greatest threat to the English countryside in 60 years, by Sir Andrew Motion, president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and former poet laureate.
Motion attacked the government's "needless smearing of concrete across our irreplaceable countryside in a misguided attempt to kick-start the economy".
Among the latest dodgy schemes is a plan to turn the Highways Agency into a publicly-owned corporation, like the BBC, to make it "further removed from the democratic process and elected politicians".
This would stop future governments from being able to stop the road-building schemes currently being launched.
Funding would still be provided by the Treasury though, so tax-payers would have to cough up for new roads and yet have no say as to whether they should be built or not. Democracy at its finest.
In Sussex, the government review mentions the Chichester bypass, with a commitment to take forward schemes to "improve" the six junctions in the 2015 to 2019 spending period.
Authorities will also investigate the situation at Arundel and from Worthing to Lancing corridor. Money-loving, nature-hating businesses and local Tory MPs want to build a bypass of the bypass across wetlands, woods and the River Arun at Arundel and dream of one day driving a motorway through the South Downs National Park north of Cissbury Ring.
This week it was announced that Gatwick Airport hopes to build a second runway within ten years. This scheme, backed by West Sussex County Council, would not only double noise and air pollution from planes, but also double traffic and all the rest of the infrastructure needed to support it. Goodbye to any remaining rural peace in Sussex.
Perhaps the biggest threat of all, though, comes from fracking. There is currently an enormous propaganda campaign going on to persuade the British public that there is a fuel "bonanza" to be had from shale gas and oil, with George Osborne denying the logic of so-called austerity by handing out 50% tax breaks to the businesses who want to profit from the destruction of our countryside.
The scale of the menace can hardly be exaggerated. 60% of England is suitable for fracking exploitation. Hundreds of thousands of wells could be built over the countryside, with new access roads everywhere and tankers constantly roaring through lanes.
Methane gas from the process will pollute the air, drinking water will be contaminated (as even the water companies have warned), wildlife murdered.
Is this the future we want to see for Sussex and England? Are we prepared to sit back and let this happen?
To talk to like-minded local people about what can be done, get along to the Beechwood Hall Hotel, Wykeham Road, Worthing, at 8pm on Thursday July 25.
Ban for "extremist" groups?
It seems that the UK government is planning to ban non-terrorist groups that it says "promote extremism and hatred on the streets".
First target of this draconian initiative is said to be the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. After that? In the interests of cultural balance, maybe the English Defence League?
But any opponents of those groups who think this all sounds like a good idea, should think again.
Once the precedent is established, who will be next to be banned? Anarchists? Eco-activists? Trade unionists? Anyone protesting against GM foods, perhaps. Or road-building. Or fracking.
The real extremists will never be banned, of course, because they're the ones in power!