GM Re-emerging onto the Political Agenda

After quite a few years in the background after talk of ‘Frankenstein foods’ and the suchlike, genetically-modified (GM) crops appear to be re-emerging onto the political agenda. Professor John Beddington, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, has said that the only way the world will produce the 50 per cent more food required to feed the growing population by 2030 is to grow more crops on less land by using the latest scientific innovation, and that GM will have to be a part of the solution. “This is such a problem that you cannot say we will not use GM technology – that would be really unwise,” he said at a global food summit organised by CABI, an environmental research centre.

His comments come as a new Royal Society report, entitled ‘Reaping the Benefits: Towards a Sustainable Intensification of Global Agriculture’, also recommends GM crops to tackle the impending food crisis. Furthermore, the first trial in a year was recently re-started in Leeds, with the Government’s support, and a recent report on food security from the Defra backed further research into the technology.

It thus seems likely that public debate over GM in the UK may soon be restarted.