Protesters say a site of special scientific
interest and an organic farm are in jeopardy with the latest approval
for GM planting in South Warwickshire.
Villagers have been protesting for five months to
try and keep the GM trials away from Alderminster, and will keep on
fighting despite more planting due to take place this week.
The formation of Alderminster Against GM crops
came after a petition of 200 names was collected against the sowing of
oil seed rape in the spring.
Now a second site near the village is about to be
used for the latest trials. Sites at Long Marston and Harbury are also
due to be planted.
The new site is closed to Knaven Hill Wood, which
is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) about half-a-mile out
of the village towards Ettington.
Liz Addy, treasurer of the action group, said:
“We formed this action group at our own expense
and we have sent our petition of 200 names and letters to Michael
Meacher MP who is in charge of all this, but we have not had the
courtesy of a reply.
“I am afraid that after five months it does
feel like we are banging our heads on a brick wall, but we are not
She said not many people really understand all
the issues behind GM crops, including MPs and MEPs who represent the
village. She said:
“We feel it is not acceptable to do this. A lot
of people are unhappy with the idea of introducing one gene into
another gene with unknown consequences.
“We are creating something that would never
exist if left to nature.
“It could be a bit like BSE, we do not really
know what we are releasing into the countryside, and by then it could
all be too late. It is very irresponsible to say the least.
“There has been no consultation from anyone,
not even our parish council. No one has asked us what we think, but
there has been a referendum in Long Marston.”
There are also fears for an organic farming
business in the area, with a potential risk of contamination from the
While the Government has set a 50 metre exclusion
zone around GM sites, villagers say this is not enough an the
Government knows this as this figure is being revised, but the present
restraints will be used for the new trials.
Some say bees could spread
the GM genes by to 4km, making a mockery of the present exclusion
They continue to write to ministers in the DETR
(Department of Transport, Environment and the Regions) and MPs and
MEPs who will listen.
But they suspect most politicians support the
trials, although there has been more concern from Liberal Democrats
who are upset at the lack of consultation.
And the message from the action group for others
who want to lend support is for protesters to keep writing to the DETR
and keep publicising the fears of people who live near the trial
Alderminster campaigners are to re-focus their
campaign, which has been a gruelling effort of interviews and
Their next effort is likely to be a newsletter to
Alderminster and surrounding villages.
AUG 00: THREE NEW SITES FOR GM CROPS IN WARWICKSHIRE