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GM-Free Food Not Runways
PRISONER ON INDEFINITE HUNGER-STRIKE WHILE FELLOW ACTIVISTS ARE EVICTED
One of the Manchester Runway2 protestors has gone on indefinite hunger
strike and has demanded the right to a prison diet that is free of
genetically manipulated foodstuff. Whilst nearby Manchester airport
witnesses the forced eviction of protestors, Her Majestys Prison
Service has become the latest territory in raising awareness concerning
genetically manipulated food.
Presently in HMP Risley near Manchester, for breach of punitive bail
conditions, Sharyn Lock (BE4262) was quoted as saying:
I will be hunger-striking for the right of prisoners to be guaranteed a
diet free from genetically manipulated food.
I will provide whatever help I can in researching and putting in place
this diet option, which I believe is viable.
A support group has been set up in support of Sharyns stand - the
GM-Free Prison Support Group stated that prisoners have a right to
choose what they eat. The group believe that their campaign has a
powerful resonance for the public at large:
We are fighting for prisoners but really we are fighting for the
publics right to GM-free produce. There is an analogy here between what
is being forced on Sharyn and what is being forced on people in general
- neither really have a choice, both are being denied the right to
choose. This is patently unacceptable. The rights of prisoners cannot be
ignored especially when their health and welfare are at stake and
equally the interests of people cannot be ignored.
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 is not yet available to
prisoners. The prison system now has the opportunity to make a positive
contribution to this issue by recognising the right to choose a
genetically free diet.
At the time of going to press the authorities had declined to comment at
Sharyns stance. However, the Governor of HMP Risley, Mr Johnson, did
say that the prisons food policy was available to the public and he was
open to discussion.
Just as the development of Manchester airport is advocated by big
business for big business, genetically manipulated produce has been
developed by companies such as Monsanto and Novartis in order to boost
their profits and further their control of the agricultural industry by
making farmers dependent upon their products.
The Manchester protestors acknowledge the holistic relationship between
the two and have kept Manchester in the limelight of progressive action.
As the struggle to highlight the needless and destructive development of
Manchester airport escalates, those that are fighting it join their
voices to the chorus of criticism that realise the dangers inherent in
genetically engineered produce.
Information on genetically engineered foodstuffs can be obtained from:
Womens 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
For further details concerning Sharyn Locks hunger strike contact:
GM-Free Prison Support Group : 0161 - 2244846
H.M.P. Risley : 01925 763871