Stick a sticker! Or send a protest card
There are better methods to deal with the potato-related problems than genetic manipulation. The Heroes of Taste are excellent examples of this: organic potato breeders Niek and Michel Vos, and researcher Edith Lammerts van Bueren work successfully on conventional potatoes, that are not only resistant against the harmful phytophthora, a fungal disease, but have other usefull traits too, like a good taste.
So we say: stop with genetically manipulating potatoes, stop with those field trials. Do you agree? Express your rejection of GM potatoes and distribute stickers, for example in the neighbourhood of snackbars or supermarkets who sell fries, factories where they produce fries or places where they are conducting field tests with gentech potatoes. You can also send protest cards to BASF or DuRPh and /or to politicians to make your opinion clear to them.
Where should proteststickers and cards go?
This year there were field trials in:
- Eemsmond (Groningen),
- Valthermond (Drenthe),
- Lingewaard (Gelderland)
- Steenbergen (West-Brabant)
- BASF wants to do additional field trials in Overbetuwe (Gelderland) next year.
You can find french fries companies Aviko, McCain and FarmFrites in:
- Dronten (Flevoland)
- Lomm (Noord-Limburg)
- Steenderen (Gelderland)
- Cuijk (Gelderland)
- Alphen aan de Rijn
- Oudenhoorn (Zuid-Holland)
- and Lelystad again.
Some addresses to send your protest cards to:
BASF Plant Science
Plant Research International, Wageningen UR
6700 AA Wageningen
Ministry of Economic Affairs (including agriculture)
State secretary Verdaas
2500 EK Den Haag
House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) – Party Spokespersons Agriculture:
Sjoera Dikkers (PvdA)
Carla Dik-Faber (CU)
Elbert Dijkgraaf (SGP)
Stientje van Veldhoven (D66)
Liesbeth van Tongeren (GL)
Dion Graus (PVV)
Norbert Klein (50plus)
Jaco Geurts (CDA)
Helma Lodders (VVD)
Marianne Thieme (PvdD)
Sharon Gesthuizen (SP)
All party representatives can be reached by post on the following address:
t.a.v. kamerlid YYY ZZZZ
2500 EA DEN HAAG
Send a mail to email@example.com or call +31206682236 to order Gentechfriet eet ik niet Stickers and protestcards.
Why are we against genetic engineering in agriculture?
• click here for the 10 arguments for GM free agriculture and against the genetic engineering of our food
• Watch the film Farmer to Farmer online where American GMO growers explain their problems. You can order the DVD for 5 euros from ASEED.
If you want to know more about what is going on with GM potatoes and other GM crops, continue reading
‘Sympathetic’ GMO’s have to break the resistance
Chemical company BASF and WUR, the agricultural university of Wageningen, are fiddling with the genes of potatoes. They are trying to use genetic engineering to give the potatoes positive qualities, much faster than with classic plant improvement . Those new qualities should, if the genetic fiddling turns out to be successful, lead to reduced use of water and herbicides during the growth and processing of these potatoes. They have been doing field trials for a few years, in the Netherlands as well as in other countries. It all sounds really good, and yet these projects leave a bad after taste. As Niek and Michel Vos amongst other plant improvers shown, you can do all of this in the classic way of plant improvement as well. Furthermore these ‘’sympathetic’’ GMO-projects are being used to break the resistance against all GMO products, even though most of them are incredibly harmful.
Most of the grown GMO’s require more herbicides, intimidation and exploitation
There’s a lot of resistance against GMOs, internationally, but especially amongst European farmers and consumers. With reason, because almost all GMO’s require more herbicides; 75% of GMOs are made immune against herbicides so when they are grown more and more herbicides are used (internationally 4000% more since the introduction of GMO’s in the 1990’s). Greenpeace published a report about these herbicide resistant crops.
Recently the results of a food experiment with rats were published. The experiment showed that one of these crops, RoundupReady GMO corn from Monsanto, grown with liberal application of the the weed killer Roundup to which it has been made resistant, is connected to the development of cancer. This isn’t the first study that shows the health risks of these GMO crops and the herbicides. The scientist involved, professor Seralini, is being discredited in all sorts of ways in the media, by Monsanto, their lobbyists and pro-GMO scientists. Scientists worried about the intimidation of their colleagues wrote an open letter stating their concerns.
The largest part of the remaiing 25% percent of the GM crops produces poison against insects in each cell: they are called bt-crops. GM-growing farmers also have big problems because they are overpowered by those gigantic agrochemical companies that also dominate the seedmarket with patented GM crops and stifling contracts. The farmers farming next to GM farmers are threatened with unintentional contamination of their ordinary crops, especially in the case of maize and rapeseed.
These problems mainly occur in other parts of the world where these crops were already introduced before people fully realised there were problems connected with them.The farmers from those countries warn their European colleagues not to start with them, e.g. in the documentary from Farmer to Farmer. In Europe there are hardly any GM crops, only 1 type of maize from Monsanto and 1 GM potato from BASFhavebeen allowed so far. These permits are surrounded by scandals to do with inadequate research of the effects on public health and the environment and conflicts of interest from the ‘independent’ policy-advisers who turned out to have ties to the biotech industry.
Pro-GM lobby and the Durph-project
The GM potatoes from WUR and BASF that are now being used in field trials don’t have any known poisonous qualities of their own, but are being used to break the resistance against GM crops in Europe. After BASF failed to find any farmers in the Netherlands for their permitted GM potato Amflora, the company announced it would stop developing GM crops for the European market. So why are they still continuing with field trials to get the crops admitted to the EU market? WUR is working on the DuRPH-project to make the potatoes more resistant against the disease phythophthora by means of genetic modification, just like BASF. Very noble, but that can also be achieved by means of the classic way of improvement. Moreover, 10% of the budget, 1 million, is meant for communication. In other words, for convincing the Netherlands and Europe, that GM can also do very noble things and that the complicated, limiting rules that stop GM crops from being introduced to our fields and plates without safety testing, should be less strict.
With the DuRPh potato, scientists are trying to create loopholes in the safety measures. Because those rules make it very difficult for them to take the results of their GM project to the market our food safety has to be sacrificed. Well, NO THANK YOU. Because of the lobby work the DuRPh scientists did, all sorts of patented GM products from Monsanto&Co will slip through the loopholes, together with the ‘’sympathetic’’GM potatoes, onto our fields and our plates. Neither farmers nor families will be better off.
If you share our concerns, join our action ‘Gentechfriet eet ik niet’ (GM chips don’t taste good). Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020-6682236 to order stickers and cards.