However, critics are saying that these scientists are allegedly funded by GM food-producing companies.
The report’s authors are suggesting that approval for commercial cultivation of new GM crops within the EU should be made at a national level.
“This would safeguard against potential losses and damage to European agriculture that follow from the failure to adopt GM crops, and enable appropriate regulation of new technologies such as genome editing and synthetic biology for crops,” the report says.
According to one of the report’s authors, a GM expert at Britain’s Sainsbury Laboratory Jonathan Jones, as far as technologies for making crops healthier and more environmentally friendly are developing fast, “the regulatory system needs to change to allow us to take advantage of this benefit sooner.”
The current British laws that are blocking the production of GM crops may hamper the UK’s access to innovative technologies, slow down the country’s scientific life and lead to brain drain from the UK, the report’s authors are claiming.
Growing GM crops may bring many befits that may turn out to be especially helpful to solve the food problems linked with the coming increase of the world’s population and global climate changes, they say.
It may look strange to talk about possible food shortages when shelves of supermarkets all over the western world are “loaded with foods from every part of the globe,” but pressures on the food supply are increasing, the report says.
“In the UK we have limited agricultural land supply.
We need to increase the productivity of the land to optimize crop production in a way that causes the least damage to the natural environment.
We can currently afford to buy all the food we need on the open market.
We cannot continue to take this for granted,” the report’s authors said in a letter to Prime Minister Cameron, adding that if “we fail to get more from the land in a sustainable way,” people will either go unfed, or more wilderness land will need to be cultivated.
GM crops are now grown in 28 countries, or on 12% of the world’s arable land. However, in the UK, only two GM varieties have been so far licensed for commercial harvesting.
For comparison: in the US, the relevant figure is 96.
The report has already stirred much criticism in the UK.
The critics are saying that the report’s authors are allegedly receiving large grants from producers of GM food.
Thus, Eve Mitchell of the UK Food and Water Watch writes in an article on this organization’s website that the laboratory headed by the above-mentioned Jonathan Jones “receives millions from the biotech industry”.
Some other scientists behind this report “hold (or are part of outfits that own) patents on GM technologies”, Eve Mitchel claims.
Claire Robinson, editor at campaign group GMWatch, says that these scientists’ views should be treated with the same skepticism we would apply to a sales pitch because they are not independent of the biotech industry.
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