Hilary Benn: GM could help Britain's food production
Hilary Benn, the environment minister, has suggested that genetically modified (GM) farming could help to increase Britain's crop production as he sets out plans to make the country more self-sufficient in food.
By James Kirkup
Published: 9:43AM BST 10 Aug 2009
And he has called for a more sensible approach to food safety as part of a wider drive to cut waste and make Britain less dependent on imported food.
The minister will on Monday set out plans to make Britain more self-sufficient in food, encouraging consumers to eat seasonally-grown British vegetables instead of out-of-season imports. Households will also be urged to grow their own vegetables at home.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Mr Benn suggested that genetically modified (GM) food could be part of the solution to increase production.
He said farmers would decide what to grow but it was important to investigate new techniques in order to discover the "facts" about them.
"If GM can make a contribution then we have a choice as a society and as a world about whether to make use of that technology, and an increasing number of countries are growing GM products," Mr Benn said. Read More
For many years our friends in Europe have been leading the charge for using less technology and shunning modern food production. But now the tide may be turning just a bit. The problem with all of this is that they have been unable to feed themselves for quite some time now. Since their production levels have dropped, they have relied on other countries to grow their food for them. Not being self sufficient in food production is a very scary place for a country to be. Contrary to popular belief, there is something worse than an empty gas tank in your car, it’s an empty stomach.