I recently signed the Sense about Science petition in favour of their GM wheat trials. I have just received the following email which suggests that the Take the Flour Back pressure group are afraid to discuss the issues around this GM work in a public forum.  I can only conclude that they realise their opinions of this work are without merit compared with the efforts that the Rothamsted scientists have made in engaging with the public and explaining the nature of their work.

The research is legal, and has passed all regulatory hurdles. The actions of Take the Flour Back are to be deplored. I urge all to read the information at the website and sign the petition.

Dear Petition Signatory

You supported the appeal by Rothamsted scientists against plans by a group to take direct action against their research into whether GM wheat can warn off aphids.

The Take the Flour Back group is pursuing this action but had agreed with the researchers’ proposal to debate their concerns before 27th May.  The researchers organised a neutral venue and chair for a debate. Unfortunately Take the Flour Back has announced they will not take part. There is a timeline of the exchange between Professor John Pickett and Take the Flour Back at http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/Content.php?Section=AphidWheat&Page=Protest

There’s lots of other discussion going on. Professor Pickett will be on Newsnight on BBC2 at 10.30 tonight. Many of you left comments on the petition asking about aspects of the research and we have received many questions and points by email and twitter. The scientists at Rothamsted, and colleagues at institutions doing related work, have been responding to many of them; some of this is now up on http://www.senseaboutscience.org/pages/rothamsted-appeal.html

Please send the message far and wide: forward the scientists’ appeal to your friends and colleagues, share the petition on Facebook and use Twitter hashtag #dontdestroyresearch.


Best regards

Síle Lane