GM, GMOs, gene manipulation, patents.
On the Indymedia UK biotechnology topic page you should find pretty much all the articles posted to Indymedia UK on this subject.
If you are interested in the wider campaign against GM on a global scale, it would be well worth checking out the global Biotech IMC website: biotech.indymedia.org.
On 27th May at Rothamsted, Harpenden, Hertsfordshire, more than 400 growers, bakers and families from across England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Belgium marched against the return of open air GM field testing. Take the Flour Back linked arms with their European counterparts, notably France’s Volunteer Reapers and walked calmly towards the field of GM wheat before being stopped by police lines.
From the newswire: European activists link up to draw the line against GM| Final details| Take the Flour Back defend Direct Action on Newsnight| Open letter to Rothamsted| What is food sovereignty| Pull up the GM wheat, or we will, say growers| Meet-up point announced| Callout
Links: Take the flour back
This February and March double roundup of grassroots news in Oxford begins with the anti-cuts movement. Back in February there was a March against the cuts, then in March, Cornmarket turned into the Big Society Hospital. A week later the big TUC march bought London to a standstill, one Oxfordian wrote My march for the alternative about the day. Please do share your experiences of demos at publish your news by the way! Not to be outdone both Swindon and Stroud were also organising against the cuts.
This week sees GM firmly back in the spotlight. On Wednesday the EU took a huge step in pushing forward the genetic modification agenda by copping out of regulation and putting the decision on whether to GM grow or not back into the hands of national governments. The European Commission approved changes to the rules which may break the deadlock that has prevented any significant cultivation of GM crops in Europe. What does this mean for GM production in the UK and other nation-states? And where does this leave the resistance movement?
AS REPRESSION INC ARRIVES IN LONDON TO PEDDLE ITS WARES.....
Roll up, roll up, one and all for the ‘Counter Terror’ Expo 2010. Kicking off at London’s Kensington Olympia on April 14th, the two day event will showcase the surveillance and ‘security’ technologies of 250 companies hoping for a slice of the paranoia dollar. Also on the Big Brother bandwagon are NATO, the MoD and other representative associations from the police, military and private security industry. There are several good reasons to show up at 12pm, Wednesday 14th April (at Olympia Way W14) and counter the terror expo.
After a global campaign that lasted for six years, the Nepal government has decided to definitely halt the breeding of monkeys for biomedical research in the USA. A letter from the Ministry of Forestry will be sent to Pravesh Man Shrestha, who has been breeding monkeys for the past five years, asking him to release the 310 rhesus monkeys back into the wild. Last year Shrestha planned to sell 25 of the 300 monkeys to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research Center, but following a temporary court injunction, the Nepalese Parliament banned the export.
The Nepalese government repeatedly claimed on numerous occasions that the monkey farms don't exist, that any monkey farms are illegal and that Nepal doesn't have a policy of breeding monkeys for export to American vivisection laboratories. This was later proven to be all lies when the farms were exposed in August 2008 (Photos | Video | Report).
Newswire: Victory! Nepalese monkeys saved from vivisection | Gateway To Hell Campaign Update | Nepalese Parliament Orders End To Monkey Exports | Situation Update Nepal -- G2H Demands Justice for the Monkeys | Week of action for Nepal's monkeys | It's Decision Time For Nepal's Monkeys | Nepal to Export 25 monkeys 'soon' | Nepalese Monkey Export Ban Under Threat | Footage of the Nepalese Monkey Farms Released | Export banned of Nepalese monkeys for vivisection | Protest against monkey export in Belgium | Demo against Nepal's plan to export monkeys | Stop The Monkey Business -- Photos of the Monkey Farms
On the night of Friday the 6th of July, a group of activists converged on Britain's only GM trial site just outside Cambridge. They scaled the security fences and destroyed the crop of genetically modified potatoes.
This was the only crop of GM potatoes being grown in the UK, after the chemicals giant BASF abandoned plans for a GM potato trial in Yorkshire this year. There have been multiple protests at the Cambridge site [video] and at the Yorkshire site (where organic potatoes were planted [video]).
However BASF have permission lasting until 2011, so this may not be the end of the story ...
7/7/07 Update: The field has been decontaminated!
Sunday July 1st. Fifty anti-GM campaigners take their protest directly to the test site in Girton near Cambridge. One protester is arrested scaling the fence erected to protect the GM potato crop and another is arrested later on for alleged criminal damage (they will be in court on Tuesday morning[ 1 | 2 ]). The crop are GM potatoes developed by BASF, who have already dropped their one other potato trial in the UK [ 1 | 2 ].
It seems there are not often victories to celebrate so it's strange when they occur seemingly unnoticed. That's exactly what's happened regarding the news that the chemicals giant, BASF have abandoned plans for a GM potato trial in Yorkshire this year, despite government consent.
Back in April there was an action in Hedon near Hull [1 | 2 ] to demonstrate public opposition to the first GM trials in the UK proposed in three years. Taking action before the trial began, the protesters planted their own organic spuds in what they thought was the field earmarked for the GM variety [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6]. The aim was to invalidate the experiment before it was even started and while it turned out that they had picked the wrong field they did successful demonstrate that public opposition to GM crops is as strong and militant as ever [audio | video].
The planting of the other trial, located in Cambridge [1 | 2], went ahead despite local opposition and protests but campaigners say that it's not too late to drive home the message that "there is still no future for GM in the UK".
On 16-17th May a 'Nano Expo' took place at the East Midlands Conference Centre, University of Nottingham. Nanotechnology is hailed as the new technological fix for the world's problems by certain scientists, but there are serious issues with the technology itself and the way it is being developed.
The Nano Expo site says that the event is: "Designed to bring together key industrialists and researchers in the field of micro- and nanotechnology. Leading international speakers will contribute to parallel sessions targeted at both commercial and scientific audiences." There are some of us who are less excited about this new technology and think that such conferences should be protested.
Articles: Nanotech: Corporations make money, government ducks issue, public takes the risk | NANOTECHNOLOGY: What it is and how corporations are using it | Time to make your voice heard on nanotech regulation | Protest at Nano-tech conference, Oxford | Nanoparticle based spray recalled after 80 made ill | After GM Food – here comes Nano Food! | Nano Hazard Competition samples | Nano-Justice and Food Sovereignty | Resistance to Nanotechnology in France | products using Nanotechnology
This month a controversial experimental genetically modified potato crop is due to be planted in the UK by the German chemical giant BASF (offshoot of the infamous AG Farben). DEFRA initially gave approval in December for BASF to undertake trials at two sites, one in Cambridgeshire (at the National Institute of Agriculture and Botany) and the other initially in Derbyshire - until the farmer pulled out.
The trials are the first GM crops to enter British soil in nearly 3 years, after public opposition forced a u-turn in government and corporate plans for patented crops. Although presented as an R&D trial into the effectiveness of an anti blight gene, they are widely considered to be trial of public opinion.
On 14th April in Cambridge a protest walk took place [photos 1, 2]. This was followed on the 21st by a rally in Hull. This event ended with the proposed trial being effectively sabotaged even before it had began when over a hundred people entered the site and planted several varieties of seed potatoes in the field making it impossible for a scientifically valid trial to take place there.