Shropshire Star

Owen Paterson backs GM food crops

Farming Minister?Owen Paterson has spoken out in favour of genetically modified?foods and says most people are already eating beef from cattle fed on GM crops.


The North Shropshire MP said there was not a 'single piece of meat' being served in a typical London restaurant where a bullock had not eaten some GM feed and dismissed criticism as 'humbug'.

He made the remarks amid speculation that ministers are ready to relax controls on the cultivation of GM crops.

Advocates argue that the techniques increase crop yields, avoid the need for pesticides, and could be essential in assuring Britain's future food security.

"Emphatically we should be looking at GM. It would be a good thing," Mr Paterson said. "The trouble is all this stuff about 'Frankenstein foods'."

He added: "There are real benefits, and what you've got to do is sell the real environmental benefits."

The coalition government has allowed small-scale cultivation trials for GM food but widespread use is effectively banned.

Some GM products are contained in imported foods, but most supermarkets have banned the ingredients from their own-brand products due to public unease.

Mr Paterson said consumers were already unwittingly eating GM food on a regular basis. "There's about 160 million hectares of GM grown in the world," he said.

"There isn't a single piece of meat in a typical London restaurant) where a bullock hasn't eaten GM feed. So it's nonsense – humbug!"

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