One million voices to stop GM crops

One million voices to stop GM crops

Over a million people from across the EU have signed the first "European Citizens Initiative" – to freeze all genetically modified crops. Now, the organisers of the petition, Azaaz and their partners, are calling on people to press the Commission to respond to this unprecedented citizen action.

Agri-business lobbyists have entrenched power over European policy and are right now pushing to get more GM crops into fields and shops. European leaders are obliged to act on a citizens’ petition of this size, and Environment Ministers are also on the same side, but the Initative needs to be delivered publicly in a powerful, impactful way. The GMO lobby’s allies in the European Commission will try to sweep the effort under the carpet, and Avaaz want to make that impossible by funding a spectacular and media grabbing action outside the EU Commission headquarters.

A small donation will be enough to make all of these powerful voices count with a powerful event and media strategy.

Scientists still have major concerns about the likely effects of GM crops on plants, wildlife, and on people. Yet in March EU officials ignored the risks, caved in to industry pressures, and broke a 12 year freeze on GM testing by approving an experimental potato. Now companies want approval for fifteen more GM crops. Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Poland and France are taking the European Commission to court to demand more rigorous testing and this week environment ministers also spoke out against the Commission’s plans. But this massive Avaaz and Greenpeace public initiative is needed to help them face down the powerful bio-tech companies who are funding the science and regulations behind the political decisions.

Together they are pioneering the European Citizen Initiative — introduced in the EU Lisbon Treaty late last year which for the first time allows a million EU citizens to file a petition and get their concerns formally considered in EC legislation. It is a democratic intervention into back room decision making. 58% of Europeans don’t want GM crops in Europe. They are the front line of that public opinion and now have the opportunity to demand a freeze, expose the influence of the GM industry on EU policy and push for ethical and independent investigation and regulation. 
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