Biotech corporations are sneaking new types of GMOs into all kinds of things from apples to designer perfumes. A new guide advises consumers to be(a)ware!
September 21, 2016 by Staff Reporter
Gene-silenced apples that never look old, synthetic stevia created with genetically engineered yeast – these are just some of the new generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) making their way into food and consumer products.
Many of these are the products of a new type of GM technology – one that is unregulated and which does not need to be labelled – known as synthetic biology.
Now in the US consumer and environmental groups ETC Group, Friends of the Earth US and the US Right to Know Campaign have joined forces to produce a short Shopper’s Guide to Synthetic Biology to raise awareness of this issue
“Most people are completely unaware that this new wave of synthetic GMOs, many of which are falsely marketed as ‘natural’ and ‘sustainable,’ are infiltrating food and cosmetics before they’ve been tested for safety or labeled,” said Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner with Friends of the Earth.
When most of us think of GMOs, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a field of corn, soya or cotton. Less talked about, but the subject of intense research and development activity, is synthetic biology “synbio” which involves both food and non-food products.
What is clear is that corporations are now tampering with nature in new and riskier ways. They can change a species by deleting genes, turning genes on or off or even create whole new DNA sequences on a computer. This latter process is known as synthetic biology , or ‘synbio’.
As we have previously reported on our sister site Beyond GM, this extreme form of genetic engineering seeks to “design and construct new biological parts, devices and systems that do not currently exist in the natural world, or to tweak the designs of existing biological systems…to construct designer organisms that perform specific tasks.”
In essence, instead of using existing DNA from plants or animals synthetic biology involves scientists creating entirely new DNA sequences in the lab and using them to create new synthetic life forms or splicing this DNA into naturally occurring DNA.
It is a new science, the products of which have no transparent or agreed rules for safety testing. Being man-made, synbio products are fully patentable and have the full protection of the law and, in theory at least, are able to freely enter the marketplace. Cosmetics and food are considered two of the most attractive markets for synthetic biologists.
As the guide explains, new GMO 2.0 products in stores now or on their way, include Tom Ford ‘designer’ patchouli oil, Biossance squalane moisturiser and cow-free milk made from synthetic biology.
Because they are used in non-food products some of these new GMOs may seem less worrisome. But some of these new uses for GMOs, still put money into corporations that promote industrial agriculture and the lack of regulatory oversight for non-food GMOs is something we should all be concerned about
“Some of these new synthetic biology ingredients, like synthetic patchouli or synthetic stevia, are a cheating double whammy – they cheat farmers out of a livelihood while cheating consumers by pretending to be something they are not,” said Jim Thomas of ETC Group, which tracks the impact of synthetic biology on tropical farmers.
It is hoped that the new guide will help start an important conversation amongst consumers about GMO 2.0, and also help them understand and avoid this latest wave of GMOs in food and cosmetics, and find truly natural and sustainable options.
You can find your MP and get in touch directly by visiting www.writetothem.com
About this site::
GM Free Me is a Beyond GM initiative. Submitting your photo to this site is a vote for a safer, healthier more sustainable food system, for the health of our plants, animals and soil, for the independence and future security of our farmers. Thank you for speaking up. Read more...
We have now received your photo. Once our team have approved it, it will appear on the site. Once your photo is published you will receive another email with a link to your photo so you can share it on social media and encourage everyone you know to join in.
Word of mouth is so important in helping us grow our amazing gallery of people calling for a GM Free UK.
Thanks for your support,
GM Free Me
You have now signed the petition.
Please let others know. Word of mouth is so important in helping us grow our amazing gallery of people calling for a GM Free UK.
Thanks for your support,
GM Free Me
Already an existing member?
Please don't use this form if you need to update your details, instead use the link from the bottom of any newsletter.
These terms and conditions (the “Terms”) are the terms on which this website (the “Website”) is made available to you. By accessing this Website You (“You” / “Your”) agree to be bound by these Terms.
1. INFORMATION ABOUT US/ GENERAL INFORMATION
1.1 GM Free ME is an initiative of Beyond GM Ltd (“We”/”Us”/”Our”), a company registered in England and Wales under registration number 9078147. Our registered address and administrative office is Beyond GM Ltd, 99 Brentwood Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 7ET.
1.2 If You have any questions, complaints or comments on this Website then You may contact Us at info [at] gmfreeme.org.
1.3 If You register to use the Website then You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of Your password and user name and are responsible for all activities that are carried out under them. We do not have the means to check the identities of people using the Website and will not be liable where Your password or user name is used by someone else.
2. COPYRIGHT/COPYRIGHT LICENSE
2.1 We (or our partners or licensors) own all intellectual property rights in the Website and its contents including, without limitation, trademarks, logos, graphics, photographs, animations, videos and text.
2.2 Some materials on the Website are made freely available to download and use, subject to the conditions described in our Trademarks and Logos Statement. Such materials will be clearly marked. If you want to use any other materials or content from the Website, please contact us. Otherwise, You may not copy, reproduce, republish, download, post, broadcast, record, transmit, commercially exploit, edit, communicate to the public or distribute in any way the services, web pages or materials on the Website or the computer codes of elements comprising the Website other than for Your own personal use. Subject to the above, You may download insubstantial excerpts of this content to Your hard disk for the purpose of viewing it provided that no more than one copy of any information is made.
3. LINKS TO AND FROM OTHER WEBSITES
3.1 You may link to our home page, provided you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not damage our reputation or take advantage of it, but you must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on our part where none exists.
3.2 You must not establish a link from any website that is not owned by you.
3.3 Our site must not be framed on any other site, nor may you create a link to any part of our site other than the home page. We reserve the right to withdraw linking permission without notice. The website from which you are linking must not contain any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content or any other content likely to damage the reputation of our brand.
3.4 If you wish to make any use of material on our site other than that set out above, please address your request to info [at] beyond-gm.org.
3.5 We may provide links to other websites from time to time. These links are provided for Your ease of reference and convenience only and We do not control such third party websites and are not responsible for their contents. Our inclusion of links does not imply any endorsement of the material contained in such websites or any association with their operators. You acknowledge that We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources, that We will not be party to any transaction or contract with a third party that You may enter into, and We shall not be liable to You in respect of any loss or damage which You may suffer by using those websites.
4. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE/ VISITOR MATERIAL AND CONDUCT
4.1 You agree that in using the Website You will not:
4.1.1 use the Website in any way that may lead to the encouragement, procurement or carrying out of any criminal activity;
4.1.2 email, transmit or otherwise disseminate any content which is defamatory, obscene, in breach of copyright, vulgar or indecent or may have the effect of being harassing; threatening, abusive or hateful or that otherwise degrades or intimidates an individual or group of individuals on the basis of religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age or disability;
4.1.3 advertise or promote third party or Your own products or services including by way of the distribution of ‘spam’ email;
4.1.4 transfer files that contain viruses, trojans or other harmful programs;
4.1.5 access or attempt to access the accounts of other users or to penetrate or attempt to penetrate the Website security measures.
4.2 We reserve the right to suspend, restrict or terminate Your access to this Website at any time without notice at Our discretion if we have reasonable grounds to believe You have breached any of the restrictions above.
5 RELIANCE ON INFORMATION POSTED
Commentary and other materials posted on our site are not intended to amount to advice on which any reliance should be placed. We therefore disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on such materials by any visitor to our site, or by anyone who may be informed of any of its contents.
We do our best to always ensure that the information on our site is correct and accurate. Despite our best efforts the site may contain errors. We do not accept liability for loss or damage caused by inaccurate information. If you spot information which you think is incorrect you can tell us at webmaster [at] beyond-gm.org.
6 VIRUSES, HACKING AND OTHER OFFENCES
You must not misuse our site by knowingly introducing viruses, trojans, worms, logic bombs or other material which is malicious or technologically harmful. You must not attempt to gain unauthorised access to our site, the server on which our site is stored or any server, computer or database connected to our site. You must not attack our site via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of service attack.
By breaching this provision, you would commit a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. We will report any such breach to the relevant law enforcement authorities and we will co-operate with those authorities by disclosing your identity to them. In the event of such a breach, your right to use our site will cease immediately.
We will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a distributed denial-of-service attack, viruses or other technologically harmful material that may infect your computer equipment, computer programs, data or other proprietary material due to your use of our site or to your downloading of any material posted on it, or on any website linked to it.
7.1 Nothing in these Terms shall exclude or limit Our liability for fraudulent misrepresentation or for death or personal injury resulting from Our negligence or the negligence by Us, Our employees or agents.
7.2 We do not accept any liability for damage to Your computer system or loss of data that results from Your use of the Website and We cannot guarantee that any files that You download are free from viruses, contamination or destructive features.
7.3 Whilst We use all reasonable endeavours to correct any errors or omissions as soon as practicable once they have been brought to Our attention, We do not promise that the information on the Website itself will be free from errors or omissions. We also do not promise that the Website will be available uninterrupted and in a fully operating condition.
7.4 All content and services on the Website are provided on an ‘as is’ and ‘as available’ basis. We do not make any representation or give any promise (whether express or implied) in respect of the Website or its content, including, without limitation, any advice given (on a personal or general basis) and statements made by partner organisations on or via the Website. Any decisions or action taken by You on the basis of information provided on or via the website are at Your sole discretion and risk and You should obtain individual professional advice where necessary. Nothing in this clause shall restrict Your statutory rights (including Your rights to receive a reasonable standard of service).
7.5 Our liability in tort, contract, negligence, pre-contract or other representations or otherwise arising out of or in connection with and/or these Terms shall be limited in aggregate to one thousand pounds.
7.6 If any provision of these Terms is found by a court or a regulator to be invalid or unenforceable the other provisions shall continue to apply.
7.7 In the event of any dispute between You and Us concerning these Terms, relevant United Kingdom law will apply. If You wish to take court proceedings against Us You must do so within the United Kingdom.
We aim to update our site regularly, and may change the content at any time. If the need arises, we may suspend access to our site, or close it indefinitely. Any of the material on our site may be out of date at any given time, and we are under no obligation to update such material.
If you have any questions about these terms or the information on our site you can contact us at info [at] beyond-gm.org
Thank you for visiting our site.
These Terms were last updated on 26/02/23
© Beyond GM and GM Free Me 2014-2023
For ease of reference, we own and control the following Websites (“Websites” or “Website”):
We are also responsible for maintaining the mailing lists for the groups Mums Say No to GMOs and GM Education.
We take privacy and data protection very seriously. We collect your personal data in order to inform you of the progress of the Organisation, to provide news and information and respond to actions you have taken (e.g. using our photo uploading tool). We never collect more data than is necessary, nor do we hold it for longer than is required to fulfil our purposes.
1. Your Data
“Your Data” means any information about you from which you may be personally identified including your name, address, email address, Facebook data, photos submitted to our campaigns, and any other information from which you can be identified and which you may disclose to us on our Websites, in conjunction with the Organisation or otherwise at any time.
We may collect and use the following information about you:
1.1 information that you provide by filling in forms on our site. This includes information provided at the time of registering to use our site (where applicable), subscribing to our services (where applicable), personalising our site with your preferences, posting material or requesting further services;
1.2 information submitted when you enter a competition or promotion or when you respond to a survey and/or when you report a problem with our site;
1.3 if you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence;
1.4 details of your visits to our site including, but not limited to, which URL you used to get to our site, searches you make, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data, whether this is required for our own billing purposes or otherwise and the resources that you access;
1.5 information about yourself provided by you to us for specific purposes.
1.6 To help us improve our services, if you send us personal information which identifies you via email, we may keep your email and your email address. We may also collect information that is available from your browser.
1.7 We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration and to report aggregate information to our advertisers/partners. This is statistical data about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual.
2. When do we collect your data?
2.1 We collect Your Data from you when you:
2.1.1 sign up to participate in, support, or receive information about the Organisation , whether through our Websites, applications, sign-up cards or sheets, or through our online store, or via our partners;
2.1.2 choose to post Your Data when using any of our blogs, through our social media pages or forums through our Websites;
2.1.3 make a complaint or enquiry or provide other feedback to us; or
2.1.4 otherwise disclose Your Data to us through our Websites or otherwise at any time.
3. How do we use your Data?
3.1 We use Your Data to:
3.1.1 publicise you as a participant in the Organisation on our Websites, but only where you have agreed to this;
3.1.2 monitor, develop, run and improve our Websites and the Organisation;
3.1.3 process any requests from you to participate in, support, or receive information about the Organisation;
3.1.4 send you information by email, Facebook message or post, tweet, or other means about the Organisation
3.1.5 in accordance with your marketing preferences, pass Your Data to third parties for environmental marketing purposes as set out in section 4 below;
3.1.6 process and deal with any complaints or enquiries made by or about you;
3.1.8 campaign on issues related to the genetic modification of food and farming where you have expressed a clear interest in such activity (e.g. sending a letter to a representative via our Websites).
3.2 You can change your mind and choose to not have your data passed on to third parties pursuant to paragraph 3.1.5 at any time by sending an email requesting this to unsubscribe [at] beyond-gm.org. Please understand that if you are receiving communications from these third parties already, you will need to refer to their privacy notice to stop receiving communication from them.
3.2.1 You can also choose to not receive any communication from us via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social networking site where we have a presence by removing yourself from our pages/feeds in line with their own privacy notices. Note that you will still need to unsubscribe yourself from our mailing list if you wish to stop receiving communication from us altogether.
4. Will we pass on Your Data to third parties?
4.1 We will never sell or pass on Your Data to third parties for marketing purposes without your consent. We only pass on Your Data to third parties as follows:
4.1.1 We may pass Your Data to our employees, agents, subcontractors, and partner organisations to help administer our Websites and provide relevant information to you;
4.1.2 Your Data may be transferred to a successor company or other organisation in the event of a sale or insolvency administration; (but you will be notified and offered the chance to unsubscribe if this occurs);
4.1.3 in some cases we may use subcontractors or partner organisations to conduct some processing of Your Data on our behalf, but this is always subject to strict contractual control and in compliance with UK data protection legislation; this may include using a third party to identify individuals from our database who may be in a position to support our work further or take part in market research activities;
4.1.4 only if you have given your consent for such purpose, we pass Your Data to third parties so that they can send you information about GM food and arming campaigns and information which may be of interest to you; and
4.2 In addition, some general statistical information about our user base may be passed on to reputable third parties for research purposes but these details will never include information personally identifying you.
4.3 Remember that if you are using a blog, or forum on our Websites or Facebook, any information about you which you choose to post will be available for others to see and we can’t control how they may use it. Please therefore exercise caution and think carefully before posting any personal information. Likewise, we require that you don’t post any personal information about other people without first obtaining their express consent to do so.
4.4 We do not knowingly collect, store or use any personal information about children under the age of 16.
4.5 The use of photos on websites, on social media and in other publications poses direct and indirect risks to children and young people. We welcome photos of family members of all ages on this site but will not post, and will take steps to remove, pictures of children in unsuitable dress, or who are unattached to a family group (as evidenced by their postcode information). Submission of your child’s photo is taken as consent for that photo to be used by us as set out in section 3 and in our Terms & Conditions. We urge parents, wherever possible and practicable, to ask for the child’s permission to use their image before submission.
5. Data Security, links and international transfers
5.1 We will take all reasonable steps to protect Your Data. All Your Data collected by us is stored on a secure server.
5.2 Please act with caution when using blogs, forums and other applications as set out in 4.3 above.
5.3 Please be aware that our Websites may link to other websites which may be accessed by you. We are not responsible for the privacy policies, content or security of those linked websites.
5.4 We don’t make any other transfers of Your Data outside of the European Economic Area other than where we have measures in place to protect and continue to control Your Data and keep it secure even when on the US servers. All third party data stores are subject to strict contractual controls.
6. Mailing lists
6.1 We use MailChimp to collect, process and store data on those who subscribe to our mailing list. Subscribers must actively sign up to these lists, (e.g. via electronic or manual forms) and must complete the double opt in to be added to the list. MailChimp stores such personal data as we collect in order to create our subscriber mailing lists. As part of its processing MailChimp may transfer personal data to certain of its sub-processors, who perform some critical services, such as helping MailChimp prevent abuse and providing customer support.
6.2 Email communications sent to our supporters/subscribers via MailChimp include obvious links which allow supporters/subscribers to access, correct, amend or delete information held about them, and also to unsubscribe from the mailing list.
6.3 You may be removed from our mailing list at any time by asking us to remove you, or you may choose to unsubscribe from our mailing lists by emailing unsubscribe [at] beyond-gm.org or clicking the link in the bottom of all our emails.
7.1 Our websites use Paypal to collect online donations. Paypal shares data with a range of third parties, a list of which is available here. Sharing this information with payment processors and credit reference and fraud agencies and group companies is necessary in order for Paypal to fulfil obligations to its customers. The regulatory agencies with which Paypal shares its data are carrying out their purpose in accordance with their regulatory objectives and requirements.
8.1 A cookie is a small element of data that a Website can send to your browser, which may then be stored on your hard drive. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, though you do not have to.
As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. If you wish to disable cookies then you can do so by readjusting your browser settings, although please note that by disabling cookies you may not be able to use all features of our Websites. For more information on cookies and how to disable them, you can consult the information provided by the Interactive Advertising Bureau at www.allaboutcookies.org.
The information generated by the cookie about your use of our Websites (including your IP address) is transmitted to and stored by Google. Google uses this information for tracking how you use the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where Google is legally required, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google can combine your IP address with any other data held by Google. By using our Websites, you consent to the processing of data by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above. If you would like to opt-out of Google Analytics monitoring your behaviour on our sites please use this link.
8.3 Any changes we may make to our privacy and cookies policy in the future will be posted on this page.
9. Your rights
9.1 Data protection laws provides the following rights for individuals:
9.2 These rights apply in some, but not all circumstances. You can find more information about data protection and your rights of privacy from the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.gov.uk. You can also find general information about data protection within the EU here.
10. Information about us
10.1 GM Free Me is an initiative of Beyond GM Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales under registration number 9078147. Our registered address and administrative office is Beyond GM Ltd, 99 Brentwood Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 7ET.
11. Contact us about privacy
Copyright notice: © Beyond GM 2014-2023
We don’t publish your postcode, but we do use it to place your photo generally within your constituency region on our UK map. That means no specific address is published, no street details, just a community area defined by the parliamentary constituency you are in.
Share this page
Or copy and paste this page address: