Memorandum submitted by Anna Appelmelk
This is my submission, which I ask to be considered
by the Select Committee on Agriculture in the enquiry into organic
I am a member of the Stroud Campaign for Safe
Food and enclose our document of principles [not printed], and
a "Time to Choose", which was presented by one of our
members at the recent hearing into the proposed decision to add
GM Chardon LL maize to the National Seeds List held under the
auspices of MAFF. This, if allowed, would open the doorway to
commercial planting of GM seeds. This document has been widely
distributed in this country and is also available on Iceland's
I feel the environmental and community aspects
of organic farming need to be given far more publicity and especially
financial support by the present Government. I refer to the recent
organic debate in Parliament on 5 July 2000, which David Drew
The interactions between GM test-trials and
organic farming and the threat from cross-pollination that these
sites pose is, for me, one of the main concerns, that the organic
sector needs a considered place in this debate, where the choice
for these farmers and of course the consumer is under threat.
The enclosed article (not printed) on crop pesticide
sprays (Independent 5 October 2000) gives one clear reason against
proliferation of non-organic, larger scale farming to the detriment
of organic production and the general public. The dramatic increase
of food-poisoning bacteria, especially E.Coli 0157, which
are highly resistant to antibiotics, begs the question of pesticide
application. As a trained nurse and social worker my concerns
are evident, both medical, social and within the community. I
have been involved in environmental issues since the 1970's, on
a voluntary basis.
I feel the rapid demise of small-scale farms,
and the government failure to recognise these farmers, their hardships,
depression and often suicides and the loss to the community and
environment of this way of life, is being given insufficient consideration
to the detriment of all of us, both the urban and rural population.
A possible future of large scale farming and theme parks, whereby
the natural habitat, often managed for centuries by these small
scale farmers would be tragically lost is there to be seen.
I enclose this beautiful picture of a honey
bee (not printed) and the beekeepers prayer, as the whole issue
of GM crops and test-trial sites and their affect on bees is an
issue which I hope you will consider very carefully.
Beekeepers are slowly recovering from the disastrous
effects of Varroa and now GM trial-sites pose a further threat
which organic farming could come a long way to hold in balance.
Thank you for giving consideration to these
points and reading a "Time to Choose".
24 October 2000