"GM decisions should be based on 'real' data."

4th Mar 2013

At the 2013 NFU Conference, Defra Secretary Owen Paterson said any decisions which could affect farmers’ profitability should be based on sound, scientific evidence rather than knee jerk reactions.

Speaking in relation to comments made about the restrictions on Genetically Modified (GM) crops and a potential ban on neonicotinoids, Mr Paterson said ‘real’ data had to be taken into account.

Mr Paterson said the potential ban on neonicotinoids, which could come into effect in July, would be based on lab data rather than ‘actual field data’ which is being carried out in the UK.

On imported GM animal feed, Mr Paterson said consumers were already eating ‘huge amounts of meat products which have consumed GM’.

“I fully appreciate the strong feelings on both sides of the debate,” he told the conference.

“But we shouldn’t forget that respected scientific opinion, including that of the European Commission’s own Chief Scientist, shows that GM crops pose no greater risks than conventional crops.

A transcript of Mr Paterson's speech can be found on the Defra website

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