Helen Wallace at GeneWatch UK tells us that a committee within our UK Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA, headed by Owen Paterson), hopes to see Roundup Ready crops on English farms. Those are genetically modified (GM, genetically engineered) crops designed to be grown with Roundup (glyphosate) weedkiller.
‘Paterson has worked closely with the GM industry on UK policy, including on a PR strategy which seeks to avoid discussion of RoundUp Ready crops and the multinational companies that sell them.
‘The Committee’s report also recommends that Government reduces dependence on imported soybean for animal feed, warning that increased demand for protein from emerging economies threatens current supply lines. Much of this imported soya is GM. The Committee also recommends that the UK takes steps to become more self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables, supermarkets shorten their supply chains to support more local food; and better long-term weather prediction for farmers is developed. Precision farming technology is highlighted in the report as one of the most promising ways to reduce food losses and increase yields.
‘”It is a pity that these valuable recommendations on food security [about topics other than GM] are likely to be drowned out by this Committee’s misleading claims on GM crops” said Dr Wallace. “Reducing dependency on imported GM soya, used to feed animals in Britain, would be a big step forward in making our food supply more sustainable and secure”.’