HONG KONG (CHINA), 14th December, 2005 – Campaigners deliver a petition to World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy during trade talks today.

Media Advisory
Friends of the Earth International
pictures available (see below)

The petition was signed by more than 135,000 citizens from 100 countries and more than 740 organisations representing 60 million people opposing the WTO trade dispute over genetically modified (GM) food filed by the US,Argentina and Canada. [1]
French Farmer José Bové, Indian ecologist Vandana Shiva and Caroline Lucas, Member of the European Parliament, are among those who deliver the petition.
Through the petition citizens ask the WTO not to undermine the right of individual countries, in this case European countries, to take appropriate steps to protect their farmland, environment and consumers from the risks posed by GM foods and crops. [2]
The WTO is expected to issue an interim ruling on 5th January 2006. In line with WTO secrecy, the draft ruling will only be made available to the countries in the dispute. This will form the basis for the final ruling expected later on in March or April.
Friends of the Earth International Chair Meena Raman said in Hong Kong
“The WTO should not force anybody to eat genetically modified foods .The WTO is the wrong place to be deciding what we eat and how we protect our environment. It is time for the WTO to get its hands off our food! ”
French Farmer José Bové said in Hong Kong:
“Farmers and consumers strongly oppose genetically modified organisms. We will take action to keep Europe free from GMOs and to protect the world from GM farming.”
Indian Ecologist Vandana Shiva said in Hong Kong
“The transatlantic trade dispute shows the worst face of the WTO. Despite the fact that the UN Biosafety Protocol allows countries to use the Precautionary Principle to ban the import of GMOs, the WTO may force feed us GMOs anyway”
Green Party WTO delegate Caroline Lucas MEP said:
“The right of individual countries to decide whether or not to allow GMOs in their food chains or their environment is a key element of the democratic principles which are supposed to underpin the EU itself Neither the WTO nor the EU have any right to overrule the clear majority of EU citizens who do not want GMOs in their communities.”

Petition Delivered:
WHEN: December 14, 3.30-3.40 p.m. Hong Kong time
WHERE: Hong Kong Convention Centre, in front of room 401.

Pictures Available :
High-resolution pictures will be available after the event from:


For more information

Contact in Hong Kong (Dec 14-19)
Meena Raman, Chair, Friends of the Earth International +852 6129 0032
Alexandra Wandel, Trade Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Europe +852 6125 7644
José Bové, Conféderation Paysanne, +852 9305 9672
Vandana Shiva, Research Foundation for Sciences, Technology and Ecology +9198 1002 5169
Caroline Lucas, MEP, European Parliament, +44 780 272 1996
Contact in Europe
Adrian Bebb, GM Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe +49 1609 490 1163

[1] A briefing about the dispute is online at http://www.foeeurope.org/biteback/pics/transatlantic_trade_dispute_media_briefing.pdf
[2] Detailed information is available at http://www.bite-back.org/
The “Bite Back” citizen’s objection was initiated by Friends of the Earth International with the support of Action Aid Alliance, Public Services International, Public Citizen, the International Gender and Trade Network, the French Confédération Paysanne, and the Indian Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology.