Call for Direct Witness Evidence of GM Hazards & Failures
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
In February, 26 scientists wrote to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States , expressing concern that they are being blocked from conducting independent research into GM crops by biotech corporations, and hence the information submitted to the EPA and other regulators are biased. Earlier in the same month, the group, Sense About Science (SAS) based in the UK, which describes itself as “a charitable trust to promote good science and evidence for the public” published a pamphlet Making Sense of GM, to help overcome “misconceptions” that have prevent the public from accepting GM crops and all the benefits they will bring. It was exposed in the public media as having been sponsored and co-written by Monsanto’s former director of scientific affairs (see Corporate Monopoly of Science, SiS 42). Corporations are aiming for an absolute stranglehold on scientific research and the flow of scientific information.
We have exposed the lies and half-truths concerning the performance of GM crops in the past partly by asking protesting citizens to photograph field trials or problems caused by GM crops near them, which we make available to the public and policy-makers (see Citizen's Vigil Exposes Bad Science in GM Crop Trial, (http://www.i-sis.org.uk/MunlochyVigil.php) SiS 13/14; Bogus Comparison in GM Maize Trial, SiS 22; Deadly gift from Monsanto to India, SiS 38). This kind of direct witness evidence is very important; but is inadequately and only sporadically documented. This makes it easy for our regulators to ignore it, using the lame excuse that they are relying only on evidence “peer-reviewed and published” in scientific journals.
Fortunately, the law courts do not take that view. Such witness evidence, properly documented, is powerful, and often sufficient for incrimination. We should take inspiration from Georgina Downs’ High Court victory on 14 November 2008 (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5161219.ece). The judgement concluded that the British government has been acting unlawfully in its crop spraying policy and failing to protect the health of the public living near agricultural land. The evidence included a two part video, together with pesticide-soaked mannequins having a ‘picnic’ during a spray.
ISIS has already accumulated a large dossier of evidence (GM Science Exposed., http://www.i-sis.org.uk/MunlochyVigil.php), and your help in assembling witness evidence may be just what’s needed to make the case for a global ban on environmental releases of GMOs that we have advocated since 2003 (see The Case for A GM-Free Sustainable World, Independent Science Panel Report, http://www.i-sis.org.uk/onlinestore/books.php)
Please submit to us photographic and video evidence of hazards and failures
via e-mail: email@example.com, or send CD/DVD in envelope marked “EVIDENCE”, to ISIS, Omnibus Business Centre, 39-41 North Road, London N7 9DP, UK. This could consist of failures of GM crops (including monstrous plants such as those observed in Mexico), death and sicknesses of animals or human beings exposed to GM crops that you have personally experienced, or witnessed in your community or neighbourhood. Evidence from experiments that you have conducted will also be appropriate.
Be sure to include detailed documentation of the subject filmed or photographed, giving date and location, including your name, e-mail, address and telephone number, as we may contact you for an interview. These details will not be disclosed without your permission.
Thank you for your help.