Illegal genetically modified 'Triffid' flax seed has been found in bread sold by Marks & Spencer. Critics of GM farming say the discovery provides damning evidence that Britain's food watchdogs are failing to police the nation's food chain.
Flax seed oil, which is also known as linseed, is often used in health foods because it contains high levels of beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. The problem of illegal GM flax seed and oil reaching Europe from contaminated crops in north America, specifically Canada, has been known about for several months.
However, Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA) stands accused of refusing to order the necessary testing of imports to keep the GM contamination out. Marks & Spencer has an exemplary record on making efforts to keep GM ingredients out of its food in line with demands from its customers. The GM Freeze campaign, which found the GM flax, said the real problem lies with the FSA's failure to take GM contamination of the food supply seriously.
The food watchdog was criticised by a High Court judge for failing to make efforts to prevent illegal GM rice entering the UK from north America in 2006. In this case, the FSA has refused to issue a 'Food Alert' to local authorities and retailers to advise them to test their supplies for illegal GM contamination.
We believe that this is the main reason why everyone should have the opportunity to grown their own food as organically as they choose, because it has become obvious that the mainstream food-chain has become hopelessly contaminated with pesticides, fungicides and now with illegal GM crops.
Like so many other government bodies in this country, the regulatory authorities (FSA) have failed us dismally, and nowadays anything goes out on the supermarket shelves. Eat the supermarket produce at your own peril, but we will continue to eat what we have produced ourselves and a few trusted sources, such as our local farm shop.
However, to be able to grow their own food the populous needs allotments. Local government is not providing them in sufficient quantities, and some areas in London face a 40 year wait before an allotment becomes available. We will soon arrive at the situation when babies are added to waiting lists so that when they reach adulthoods there might be an allotment available for them!