In an open letter published in The Times newspaper, several American celebrities and over 57 million Americans warn UK citizens about the dangers of growing GMO crops, and the importance of speaking out for their right to decide whether or not to grow them.
Susan Sarandon, Daryl Hannah, and Robert Kennedy Jr have joined trade groups like the Food & Water Watch, the Sierra Club, the Rachel Carson Council, Friends of the Earth, the Organic Consumers Association, Dr Bronner’s, and NYR Organic to warn the UK of the peril which GM crops could cause if people don’t speak out in time.
The open letter details the challenges that American farmers have had to face, as nearly two decades now of genetically altered crops have littered our once-pristine fields and farms.
Pamm Larry and Diana Reeves, as well as Beyond GM Director, Pat Thomas, were the original champions of the letter, and helped to organize its completion.
The fully referenced letter, is signed by groups and individuals representing 57 million members and supporters. It is clear now that most of the world, including scientists and even former biotech supporters, have seen the light concerning GM food dangers. It is an unsustainable model to feed the world. Its main goal was never to ‘feed’ anyone, but make profits for companies whose best-selling products are chemicals.
With the European Parliament’s recent decision to bring member states a step closer to deciding for themselves if they want to ban genetically modified food, there is no doubt that this letter will have even more of an impact.
The letter argues that GM crops have not increased crop yields, and have only inflated pesticide use. GM crops have increased the costs of farming to farmers while polluting our environment and our livestock. Vital pollinating insects have been decimated, and the Monarch butterfly populations are down more than 80% in parts of the Midwestern US, a place where many crops are sprayed with neonicotinoid chemicals. Roundup chemicals kill milkweed – one of the butterflies’ main food sources when they migrate from Mexico to the US.
The letter also points out the absolute invasiveness of GM crops. After just 20 years they have completely infiltrated our food system. Over 70% of all processed foods in the US now contain GM ingredients, which means high levels of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are now lingering in our food. The incidence of cancer, dementia, reproductive issues, bowel problems, and even Autism and ADHD are on the rise – all linked to biotech chemical exposure.
What’s more, all of these chemicals are showing up in people’s blood, urine, and breast milk. American mothers have tested to find that their breast milk is contaminated with around 1,600 times higher levels of GM chemicals than what is currently allowable in European drinking water.
The US is now a perfect example for the EU to look to when determining whether or not to allow more GM crop growth. We are a ‘failed agricultural model’ that can serve as a warning to other countries considering growing GM foods. Control has been given to corporations to sustain our food supply, and now we are all suffering from this choice.
Actress, Susan Sarandon said:
“Instead of bringing certainty and security, GMOs have raised more and more worrying questions about their effectiveness, their necessity, and even their safety. Polls show that the majority of US citizens – and in fact citizens everywhere – either want them labeled or taken out of the food system altogether.”
Activist attorney Robert Kennedy Jr said:
“An informed and engaged public is one of our greatest weapons against widespread threats to health and environmental justice. Initiatives like The Letter from America highlight clearly the problems we have faced in the US in the 17 years we have been planting and eating GMOs.”
Vivienne Westwood, who helped deliver the petition, said:
“GMOs are a democratic issue. They are a massive, unethical experiment in human and environmental health. People are voicing legitimate concerns about how they and their families will be affected by eating them, how planting them will affect the environment and biodiversity, how forcing them on developing countries will disempower and impoverish farmers there and most of all why, if so many unanswered question remain about GMOs, our government is continuing to try and force them on the British public.”
For the full version of the Letter from America to the UK, please visit: www.theletterfromamerica.org
This article originally appeared at Natural Society.