Copy of an open letter to David Cameron from Jane O`Meara of the GM-Free Dorset Campaign
Dear Prime Minister Cameron,
I am writing on behalf of GM-Free Dorset Campaign supporters to urge the UK not to accept the current proposal for national opt-outs on GM cultivation because it is legally flawed.
The UK should not support the current proposal for so-called re-nationalisation of decision making on GM cultivation unless it is radically amended to provide meaningful legal assurances for countries wishing to ban GM cultivation in their territories, including under international trade agreements.
I would also like to highlight that in 2003 Dorset County Council adopted a strong precautionary position regarding GM food and crops, and informed the Government of “it’s concerns about the potential implications for GM technology and asks that commercial implementation should not be approved until such a time as scientific evidence has shown that there are no harmful effects on human or animal health or the environment” . There is no such evidence to date. Councils within the County have since gone one step further and adopted Article 19 of Directive 2001/18/EU http://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/gmfree_local_areas.pdf … as have our neighbouring County Councils Devon and Somerset.
GM-Free Dorset supporters reject the basis for the current proposal that attempts to place GM company applicants on a political footing with sovereign, democratically elected Governments with responsibility and legitimacy to legislate and regulate in the public interest. No proposal can possibly be acceptable if it forces Governments to ask the permission of GM companies to restrict GM cultivation, not least because this is a basic conflict of interest for the companies involved.
I therefore urge you in the strongest possible terms to ensure that the entirely reasonable requests made by the Council in 2008 are acted upon as swiftly as possible.
Spokesperson for the GM-Free Dorset Campaign.
GM Free Dorset