British Environment Secretary Owen Paterson voiced his support this week for the production of genetically engineered crops in the UK, stating that there were “real environmental benefits” to the technology, BBC News reports. In an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph, he emphasized the potential role for ag biotech in advancing the British farming sector. Paterson also said accusations that biotech crops are unsafe are “nonsense” and “humbug.”
Secretary Paterson’s pro-biotech stance was echoed by the British government, which confirmed that it was encouraging European Commission officials to make it easier for farmers to grow GM crops. “We think this should be based on the science and we need to ensure public safety, but if we can speed up a slow [regulatory] system then we should do that,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson explained. Read more.