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GM-Free food not Motorways

Lonestar at iNAME.com Lonestar at iNAME.com
Mon Jun 2 01:57:36 EST 1997


GM-Free Food Not Runways

( 1st June 1997)

Sharyn Lock, who was on indefinite hunger strike at HMP Risley, has won
the battle for her diet to be free from genetically manipulated
organisms. The Manchester Runway2 protestor and supporters had expected
a long struggle to convince the Prison Services over this issue. However
after only three days the authorities caved in. The wider implications
are massive - it could be argued that it is now safer to be a prisoner
than a member of the public at large, Sharyn being the only person in
this country that is gauranteed a GM-free diet.

Held at HMP Risley near Manchester, for breach of punitive bail
conditions, Sharyn Lock (BE4262) was quoted as saying:

“I was on hunger-strike for the right of prisoners to be guaranteed a
diet free from genetically manipulated food. I will continue to campaign
for this.”

“What we want to see happen now is for other government organisations
being encouraged to provide a similar choice as I have won at Risley.”

The GM-Free Prison Support Group were celebrating a quick and somewhat
surprising victory this week. They stated today however that: 

"It is the right of every prisoner to have a diet that is free from
genetically manipulated organisms. We want to see this policy expanded
to every prison - to establish a precendent  - one which leads to the
interests of people and their health being supported rather than the
interests of multinationals such as Monsanto and Novartis."

Whilst diets based on religious  belief (eg. halal and kosher diets) and
other ethical choices (eg. veganism) are fully recognised within the
prison system, the choice to GM-free foods has not been properly
addressed. The prison system now has the opportunity to take a lead from
HMP Risley and offer such a diet to any prisoner who requests it.

Meanwhile Sharyn is now in the enviable position of having her food
gauranteed as being free from genetically manipulated organisms. The
irony is that the public at large does not even have this choice as food
produce does not carry any sort of labelling. Unsurprisingly those
companies that are most vehemently opposed to labelling in this country
are the same companies that are producing GM organisms - they realise
that the public are at the very least sceptical if not opposed to GM

The GM-Free Prisoners Support Group is calling for a similar policy as
Sharyn has won to be adopted by all prisons. This would ensure the
rights of prisoners to a GM-free diet and add pressure to the public's
call for more progressive measures to be taken on this issue. Other
prisoners are expected to follow Sharyn's lead and demand comparative
rights in their respective prison.

The Group has also listed other government organisations and
institutions where similar action could occur. They see the Risley
victory as the beginning of a chain of institutions such as prisons,
schools, hospitals gauranteeing a GM-free option.

For further details on Sharyn's situation contact:
GM-Free Prison Support Group : 0161 - 2244846
H.M.P. Risley : 01925 763871

Information on genetically engineered foodstuffs can be obtained from:
Women’s Environmental Network 87 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2BE, UK
Tel: 0171 354 8823
Greenpeace Int Canonbury Villas, Islington, London N1 2PN  Tel: 0171 865

Online sources of information include:
Super Heroes Against Genetix
Earth First! online
Greenpeace online

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