NFU responds to GM speech by Owen Paterson

The Government is right to lead the discussion on GM technology and highlight why it can be used to help farmers produce more food for a growing population, the NFU said today.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson announced today that he wanted to assure the British public that GM was a “safe, proven and beneficial innovation” and called for the UK to lead on the technology.

The NFU now wants to ensure that there is a clear framework in place, sooner rather than later, to enable farmers to use GM technology, one which embraces research and development, regulation and commercialisation.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: “I applaud Owen Paterson for the leadership he is showing on this issue.

“The NFU agrees that the UK, which is the natural home for science research, should be at the forefront of providing agricultural solutions not watching from the sidelines.

“Rightly so, farmers fear being left behind. As Mr Paterson said, I also want British farmers to be able to develop the latest technologies so they can reap economic and environmental benefits.

“I welcome his commitment to getting the EU approvals system working. The Environment Secretary also asked all interested parties to help him and said he would back them in return. I, and the NFU, will take up this challenge.”