The British public should be persuaded of the benefits of genetically modified food, the environment secretary will tell the UK’s farming industry on Thursday, in a key signal of the government’s intent to expand agricultural biotechnology and make the case for GM food in Europe.
Owen Paterson, the Conservative secretary of state for the environment and who has chosen to highlight GM technology in his first major speech to farmers, will tell the Oxford Farming Conference: “We should not be afraid of making the case to the public about the potential benefits of GM beyond the food chain – for example, reducing the use of pesticides and inputs such as diesel. I believe that GM offers great opportunities but I also recognise that we owe a duty to the public to reassure them that it is a safe and beneficial innovation.”
He added: “As well as making the case at home, we also need to go through the rigorous processes that the EU has in place to ensure the safety of GM crops.”
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