Biotech Updates

Owen Paterson Visits John Innes Centre

June 18, 2014

UK Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) Secretary Owen Paterson visited the John Innes Centre on June 6, 2014 and discussed with JIC scientists about how modern and traditional genetic modification techniques can protect major crops from pests and pathogens. He also discussed about the restrictive EU regulation on GM field tests. "The EU has the most robust and comprehensive safety system for GM in the world and is already a mass consumer of GM crops," he said. "Despite this, GM products which have passed the safety assessments remain stuck in the pipeline. Only one crop has been approved for cultivation in the last 14 years."

"While I acknowledge the views of other Member States, I want British researchers and farmers to be able to reap the economic and environmental benefits of the latest technologies. We have a world class science and research base and the expertise to play a leading role in feeding a rapidly increasing global population," he added. Patterson promised to do all that he could to put British science at the heart of world-leading agricultural research.

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