Kate Lee  -  New and emerging technologies

Young Nuffield (Bob Matson) Award

I am 28 years old and I worked for the UK farming unions and the National Pig Association in Brussels from September 2006 until September 2012. Whilst this was a very cosmopolitan life I lived and breathed agriculture every day in trying to communicate the needs and aspirations of UK farmers to policy makers.

Key policies I worked included organic food, biotechnology, cloning, food labelling and climate change. I also worked with the EU Commission, Member State Governments and the European Parliament at a crucial time when welfare laws were coming into force on farm animals such as laying hens and pigs. 

I had a joyful upbringing in Cheshire, I have a twin sister Jenny and a younger sister Amy who work in photography and fashion. I love languages and speak French, Spanish, Portuguese and I am learning Danish. Otherwise in my spare time I enjoy hiking, running half marathons (I could never do a full one!) and touch rugby. I am also partial to a bit of singing and dancing! 

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America's awakening on food production?

Campaign on GMO labelling in California intensifies

Posted by Kate Lee on October 25, 2012

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This morning I was picked up from my hotel in Sacramento by Jessica Denning of California's "yes to proposition 37" campaign, which aims to encourage the public to vote in favour of mandatory GMO labelling at a referendum on 6 November.

Spirits among the campaigners soared this afternoon as it emerged that Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the GMO labels. 

For them a "yes" would mean a rule change so that Californian shoppers, like those in the EU, would see when they are buying GM foods.

However the idea is not without controversy; there being opposition from some parts of the supply chain on the grounds that such labelling could be bureaucratic, costly and even misleading.

It is really important for me to see what's going at grass roots level if I am to understand this debate properly. Jessica has an impressive local following and is living and breathing this campaign. I shadowed her around the streets of Sacramento, into cafes, shops and even museums as she told people why she believes this labelling is so crucial.

Something I heard consistently throughout the day was that "American people don't care where their food comes from". Many supporters of proposition 37 believe that the time has come for their country to "wake up" on the issue of GMOs, and that such an awakening would be important for the wider debate in their country on the sustainability of food production.  





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