British attitudes to GE crops are still divided

The following is an edited excerpt.

According to a Farmers Weekly survey, a majority (61%) of farmers in the UK would grow genetically modified (GM) crops if it were legal to do so. However, a YouGov survey of UK consumers shows that only 21% are willing to support GM food.

The two surveys examine the attitudes of 625 independent farmers and 2,301 UK consumers, and reveal a sharp distinction between the views of farmers and consumers.

Almost half (47%) of farmers in the UK believe GM crops are a good innovation and UK agriculture should be using them to maximise output and profitability. Almost one in five (19%) say that the biggest advantages are the reduced environmental impact, and 16% say it would put them on a level playing field with farmers overseas who are already growing GM crops.

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