‘We need to talk about GM revamp’

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THE European Union was yesterday urged to revamp its policy toward genetic technology or risk Europe’s farmers being left behind the rest of the world.

At the Oxford Farming Conference, Defra minister Owen Paterson said innovation in genetically-modified crops should be seriously considered to help farmers produce food in a sustainable way.

He said EU discussion around the technology had stagnated and a proper discussion of its risks and benefits of GM crops was vital to help Europe’s farmers develop.

He said: “We need to work with like-minded partners to move legislation on at a European level because it’s painfully slow and we are holding back our own farmers. GM is not frightening technology and if we don’t look at it seriously our agri-technology industry will slip further and further behind.”

Paterson said it was important farmers and policy makers were positive about GM crops to win over the public.