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The Gloves are on!: GM Pledge Throws Down The Green Gauntlet To Blair

Andrew Wood | 24.09.2003 15:13 | Bio-technology | Ecology

A pledge to pull up GM crops was launched today as the results of the Government’s public debate on genetic modification were announced in London. The Green Gloves Pledge, a pledge to peacefully remove GM crops or support those who do, was formally announced this morning with the delivery of a six and half foot green glove to Tony Blair at the gates of Downing Street bearing the question “Which part of No GM do you not understand?”. An accompanying letter to the Prime Minister was also handed in.

Delivering the glove, Kathryn Tulip, one of the organisers of Green Gloves pledge said.

“Once again Tony Blair looks set to ignore the overwhelming sentiment of the British people who do not want GM. The British people have clearly said no to GM again and again. Now we are underlining our resolve with a promise of action – either this government agrees to deliver a GM-free Britain or a nation of gardeners will put on their gloves and take that decision into their own hands. We are here to let him know that for every GM plant he allows to be planted there will be many pairs of hands willing to pull them up again.”

The launch of the Green Gloves pledge to pull up GM crops comes as new leaked letters from Margaret Beckett suggest the Government is still intending to press ahead with GM crop commercialisation despite the clear public sentiment against GM expressed in the Public Debate. The government’s own advisors recently warned in an economic review of GM crops that there were no near term benefits for the UK economy and that any decision to press ahead with GM could result in widespread civil unrest. Tony Blair’s decision to hire Monsanto spin doctor David Hill further suggests that the PM is once again going to ignore public opinion in what former environment Minister Michael Meacher has called Blair’s “Iraq mark II”.

Although it has not been formally announced until today, already many hundreds of people have signed the pledge including farmers, scientists, clergy and politicians. The names of those pledging are currently being kept confidential but the number signing will regularly be made public, starting on October 16th when the results of the Farm Scale Evaluations of GM crops is announced. A similar ‘green gloves pledge’ launched in New Zealand to stave off the lifting of the GM moratorium there, gathered over 3000 names in 12 weeks of people willing to pull up GM crops. The UK organisers also expect thousands to sign the pledge in the UK, increasing pressure on the government as it enters the run up to the next election.

Andrew Wood
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