Now that the UK's general election campaign is underway, as a follow up to the GM lobby of parliament (, Friends of the Earth, Five Year Freeze, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and FARM have come up with four GM pledges for election candidates.

To ask your Member of Parliament (MP) election pledges on other issues and for a useful lobby guide, see:

The recent GM contamination incidents in the US (unauthorised GM maize) and China (unauthorised GM rice) are a timely reminder as to why these issues are so crucial.

GM election pledges

1. Do you support the need for tough rules that prevent any GM contamination of non-GM and organic crops, if GM crops are ever grown in the UK?

2. Do you support the need for strict liability on GM companies for any damage their products may cause, to farmers' livelihoods, the environment or our health?

3. Will you add your voice to thousands across Europe calling for the democratic right for local areas to be able to decide whether GM crops are grown in their area?

[The politicians' petition text can be found at Print off a copy for your MP and request that it is returned to you (please forward it on to us; we need a hard copy to register their support].

4. Will you sign the biteback citizen's objection calling on the WTO to dismiss the GM complaint lead by the US?

[MPs can sign up online here: If your MP does not sign public petitions, ask if they will instead sign a joint letter from MPs to a UK Government or EU representative].

If you're short on time, you can email your MP these questions at:

How to go about getting your MP on board

There are lots of ways you can try and get your MP to support these pledges; the ones you choose will depend on how much time you have. Remember that MPs will be particularly keen for any positive local publicity (and to avoid negative publicity) in the run up to the election.

* Write to your MP and other prospective candidates, asking if they support the pledges. If you say that you will be publicising the results to the local papers, you are more likely to get a positive response

* Organise a photocall for supportive MPs and candidates

* Publicise positive and negative/evasive responses to the local media through a press release

* Write a letter to local papers about your concerns and your MP/candidates’ responses

* Visit your MP at their surgery (phone the constituency office to find out dates)

What if your MP won't commit to anything?

The action guide 'Adopt your MP for a GM-free Britain' provides lots of useful information on how to deal with evasive or negative responses from your MP get in touch for a paper copy or download from:

Keep us informed

Please keep us informed of your MP's responses forward us any letters or emails, and ask us if you need any help in replying. Don't forget, with a General Election looming, it's a great opportunity to remind them that they should be listening to their constituents!

Stay in touch

And finally, if you want to keep up to date on what is happening on the GM campaign, don't forget that you can join the Friends of the Earth GM-free campaigner network (if your group is not currently signed up)... Members of the network get the Friends of the Earth newsletter Real Food News every two months and other campaigning information.

You can also keep up to date by going to, and

Thank you again for your support,
Best wishes

Clare Oxborrow
GM Campaigner
Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
26-28 Underwood Street, London, N1 7JQ, United Kingdom
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7566 1716
Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7490 1555
Fax: +44 (0)20 7490 0881
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Say no to GM

Thousands of regional and local governments across Europe have declared themselves GM-free, yet current EU law offers little support. Ask your regional and local authorities to sign a petition calling for the right to stay GM-free! Download from