Is the UK Abandoning the Precautionary Principle on Genetically Modified (GM) Crops?

The latest posting by FoodforeThought summarizes recent debate in the United Kingdom about the role of genetically modified (GM) crops in planning for future food security. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) report, Food 2030 was released at the Oxford Farming Conference. The comments below by William Surman captured the mood of sustainable agriculture supporters, a group critical of industrial agriculture in the U.K. who held a concurrent meeting called the Oxford Real Farming Conference:

“The government is ‘dangerously deluded’ if it believes genetically modified crops will solve the world’s food security issues,” members of the breakaway Oxford Real Farming Conference warned. Professor John Beddington, the Government’s chief scientist, told the Prime Minister on Wednesday, January 8, that genetic technology would help deliver ‘a new and greener food revolution’ for Britain.

But Colin Tudge, a science writer and organiser of the rival farm conference, which took place alongside the Oxford Farming Conference, said farmers did not need ‘novel and untried’ technology. Instead he said the Government must ‘free farmers from the shackles of economic dogma’. Read More >