Genetically modified food should be grown in Britain because it is more ‘eco-friendly’, the Environment Secretary claimed yesterday.
Publicly backing the controversial technology for the first time since she was appointed six months ago, Elizabeth Truss said the UK should take steps to speed up its development.
Her claims were furiously rejected by campaigners, who are concerned that so-called Frankenfoods can alter ecosystems and create ultra-invasive superweeds.
Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference yesterday, Miss Truss also backed plans to weaken EU laws that have so far kept commercial GM crops out of Britain.
‘I think GM crops have a role to play here,’ she said. ‘If you look at what has happened in the US, crops are being grown in a more environmentally friendly way with less water usage and less pesticide usage. I would like us to have that opportunity. Our farmers need access to technology that will help them work in world markets.’
If passed next week, the new EU law will repatriate decisions for GM technology to member states, meaning Britain could decide to grow the crops commercially.