UK calls for speedier GMO approvals

2013-01-04 23:02
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Oxford - Britain's Farming and Environment Minister Owen Paterson on Thursday called for an acceleration in the EU’s approval process for genetically modified (GMO) crops which he said offered benefits including less pesticide use.

"I think we need to work with like-minded partners to move the [GMO] legislation along at a European level because it is going grindingly slowly and we are getting further and further behind," he told reporters at the Oxford Farming Conference.

There has been strong public opposition to GMO crops across much of the EU, linked partly to concerns about their safety, which has helped to slow the approval process.

"There are definite gains but there is a big battle to be won with the public," Paterson said.

Mairead McGuinness, a member of the European Parliament's agriculture committee, said that lobbying against GMO crops had become less intense in the last couple of years but said opposition remained significant.

"The view for some time of many in the European Parliament has been that the public don't want it and therefore we are not going to have it," she told reporters.

Paterson, in an earlier speech to the conference, said GMO crops could offer benefits including a potential significant reduction in pesticide and diesel use while he also recognised the need for EU safety checks to reassure the public.

"This is not a frightening new spooky technology, this is something that is well established in very large parts of the world," he told reporters, adding that in 2011, GMO crops were grown by 16 million farmers in 29 countries.

Paterson also cited benefits from GMO crops such as golden rice which he said could have the potential to stop 400 000 to 500 000 young people going blind.

Golden rice has been genetically modified to help combat Vitamin A deficiency which affects millions of children and pregnant women and can cause irreversible blindness.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth, however, said in a statement issued in response to Paterson's comments that GMO crops did not provide the solution to food challenges.

"They [GMO crops] are largely being developed to benefit multinational biotech firms that are gaining control of the seed industry, not to feed poor people in developing countries," senior food and farming campaigner Clare Oxborrow said.

"World food production needs a radical overhaul, but this should be based on less intensive practices that increase agricultural diversity, deliver resilience to the impacts of climate change and benefit local communities."

Read more on:    uk  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.