Who leads the anti-GM lobby?

February 19, 1999

Twenty-nine groups opposed to genetically modified food have organised themselves into a Five-Year Freeze campaign group.

This week they took to the streets of Westminster to raise concerns over the environmental, social and health impacts they claim GM crops may inflict.

The campaigners want a five-year freeze on the growing GM crops for any commercial purpose, on the import of GM food and farm crops, and on the patenting of genetic resources for food and farm crops.

The coalition includes Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, both of which are funded by donation. Ninety per cent of Greenpeace's income comes from individual donations.

FoE has a turnover of about Pounds 5 million a year, with income entirely from donations, the largest of which was Pounds 10,000. "The Pounds 5 million figure is pretty stable," a spokesman for FoE said. "I think we are doing relatively well this year."

Neither Greenpeace nor FoE accepts donations from industry or government.

The FoE spokesman said the organisation has been campaigning against GM foods for a while.

"We have a series of points we want to make," he said. "We are obviously taking the initiative to push it up the agenda."

The other organisations in the campaign group are ActionAid, Action against Allergy, Biodynamic Agriculture Association, British Society of Nature Conservation, Catholic Institute for International Relations, Centre for Alternative Technology, Christian Aid, Elm Farm Research Centre,Farming and Livestock Concern, FLAG, Food for Health Network, Food Commission, Gala Foundation, Genetics Forum, Genetix Food Alert, Genetix Snowball, Genewatch, Guild of Food Writers, Iceland Foods, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environment, Neal's Yard Remedies, Soil Association, the Townswomen's Guild, the Vegetarian Society, the Wildlife Trusts, Women's Environmental Network and World Development Movement.

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