- Owen Paterson believes the UK should be open to using the GM science
- He has decided to make high-profile speech in the hope of turning the tide
- Mr Paterson has previously dismissed fears over ‘Frankenstein foods’
- He is understood to have the backing of Chancellor George Osborne
- Minister faces uphill struggle to convince public after horsemeat scandal
By Tamara Cohen
Mr Paterson, who has previously spoken out about the benefits of GM technology, has decided to make a high-profile speech in the hope of turning the tide on the issue. It is understood he has the firm backing of Chancellor George Osborne, who believes GM food could provide opportunities for British farmers.
Brussels has so far only approved two GM crops for human consumption, although they are widely used in the US and China, and can be fed to animals in the EU. Supporters say Europe will suffer food shortages and be more reliant on imports if it continues to reject GM products.
But the Mail has highlighted concerns over ‘Frankenstein foods’ for years, amid fears that tampering with the genes in crops could damage natural ecosystems or even affect human health.
The Environment Secretary has dismissed these concerns as ‘complete nonsense’. He believes Britain should be open to using the GM science to increase crop yields and prevent disease.
Last year he called critics of the technology ‘humbugs’ and said the case for GM food needed to be made ‘emphatically’ in Britain.