Superheros de-brief M&S

Marks & Spencer were caught with their trousers down when they re-opened in Manchester in November, when the local "Superheroes Against GM Pants" dropped in with the largest pair of pants ever seen in Manchester.

pants to GM cotton
The activists were protesting about the use of genetically modified (GM) cotton. Although not eaten, some fears about GM cotton are the same as for GM food stuffs in that it has the inherent risks of gene transfer between crops (resulting in who knows what, let alone the direct effects on wildlife) and increased pesticide usage of other GM crops. GM cotton has been mainly developed by American biotech company Monsanto to be herbicide and pest resistant and has been marketed as the solution to the environ-mental problems associated with conventional cotton production.

"Genetically Modified (GM) cotton is undies-irable for superheroes and the public alike. It's below the belt and should be removed without delay", said SuperPants. "M&S; have taken many steps to take GM out of their food and animal feed, but their policy is inconsistent if they continue to sell GM cotton", she added.

Earlier this year Marks and Spencers, along with most other supermarkets, were claiming that they could not source non-GM soya beans. However, due to consumer pressure, retailers have managed to produce their foods free from GM material and many supermarkets such as M&S; have seen demand for GM-free and organic food soar. M&S; have used their status to influence the food industry, are in a position to do the same with cotton, and should start using organic cotton. But, in reply to the action, M&S; said that they haven't removed GM cotton from their ranges because "no-one has asked us to".

pants to GM cotton
Captain Y. Fronts pointed out, "GM is not just about food scares. GM cotton will increase corporate control and chemical use, and will threaten biodiversity - all for an unnecessary technology".

For more info about GM cotton, call Jo on 0161 224 4846.

Genetix Snowball - Legal Update

Late last year, the courts agreed to allow members of GenetiX Snowball a full trial to argue why Monsanto should not have injunctions against them (see Issue 26). However, at a recent appeal by Monsanto the decision was overturned, and injunctions were extended indefinitely for named GenetiX Snowballers. This decision is now being appealed at the House of Lords and the European Courts.

Meanwhile, whilst AgrEvo attempt to extend their injunction on named genetix snowball activists, an action which was blatantly breaking the injunction has been ignored. The people involved are now being charged with aggravated trespass.

Genetix Snowball (0161 834 0295,

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(c) Networking Newsletter (February 2000)