12 March 1999
Have your say — 6 February-12 March, 1999




 
Theres nothing new in GM crops

WHEN oh when will somebody in the press point out to the general public that genetically modified (GM) crops are basically no different from the other varieties that we have today.

All GM is doing is speeding up the cross-breeding programme of crops to achieve better varieties.

If we produce a crop that has resistance to one chemical and this resistance spreads to a weed, we will simply spray the weed with a different chemical.

  • Matthew Trewartha, Bishop Burton College, Beverley, East Yorshire

    Email: trewmatt@bishopb-college.ac.uk



  • One Man and His Dog — Think again, BBC

    BOTH my husband and me feel that it is disgraceful that the BBC should propose to cease producing One Man and His Dog. Is this a reflection on the future output of the BBC, which appears to becoming purely urban in nature?

    Perhaps it is time to let the urban majority know about the large rural minority who enjoy their way of life and such programmes as One Man and His Dog.

    From what we have seen on the television the “dogs think the world of their masters”. Please let the BBC have a rethink on this programme and let it continue.

  • Margaret and David Chapman, Riseley, Befordshire

    Email: chapman@millponds.freeserve.co.uk



  • Food safety, GM crops and organic meat

    BEFORE the current scare about genetically modified (GM) crops, we were already thinking about chanelling a proportion of our land for organic production – and what better way, I thought, than to release the potential of a woodland area that has seen no pesticides nor chemicals, ever; pure, untouched woodland.

    We planned to fence the area and rear what the consumer would call organic meat. But now Im not so sure.

    If the public seem so intent on total safety of their food, how can we guarantee this with animals that have maybe eaten

    • bluebells;
    • mushrooms;
    • various tree barks;
    • rabbit droppings;
    • bird droppings;
    • wild herbs; and, maybe worse still,
    • drunk the very rain that falls from our skies!

  • T J Hollamby, Etchingham, East Sussex

    Email: t.hollamby@zetnet.co.uk



  • Organic growth offers Highlands hope

    I AM working with the Welsh Highland Shepherds Council to promote the creation of an organic system for the Welsh Highlands. The key objective of the project will be to increase farm incomes and improve the highland environment.

    The project will involve converting a high proportion of the highland farms to organic production. The organic livestock will then be slaughtered and processed in a unit owned by a farmers co-operative. It is the aim of the WHSC to produce top-quality organic meat.

    Although there is an over capacity of general slaughtering facilities UK-wide, the organic livestock needs to be slaughtered and processed in a specialist unit. There are currently no such facilities in the area.

    It is an important part of the overall project that the farmers producing organic meat can own the processing facility and get involved with marketing the end product and increase their incomes.

    The WHSC is aware that in the past there has been a decline in the demand for red meat, however the demand for organic meat is on the increase.

    It is the intention of the WHSC to form a co-operative with a legally binding constitution with Memorandums and Articles of Association. The Wales Co-operative Centre will assist with the setting up of a co-operative. The co-operative will be formed to allow additional farmers to join the scheme as it develops.

    The plan is to have a top quality organic abattoir, built to the highest standard within Europe. This will include the latest technologies, have excellent animal welfare facilities and be sensitive to the environment.

    It is too early to give specific costs of the project. It is our intention to take full advantage of environmental, extensification and organic grant aid for producers and to apply under Objective 1 funding, which will be available in this part of Wales shortly, for the abattoir and processing plant.

    The WHSC considers that any scheme introduced must maintain a balance in the countryside and encourages a sustainable environment that is pleasing to both the public and farmers.

    Converting to organic production will improve our health, the environment and hopefully will secure the future of farming in the hills.

  • George E Lockett, The Welsh Highland Shepherds Council

    Email: george@ty-coch.freeserve.co.uk
    Tel: +44 1286 650667
    Fax: +44 1286 650500