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Paterson Tackles GM Technology at UK-Ireland Food Summit

Hon. Owen Paterson, UK Minister for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, delivered a speech in the British Irish Food Business Innovation Summit held on May 29, 2013. He said that the Summit and the food sector have an important role to play in helping unlock the potential of the UK and Irish economies. He emphasized that the success of the food industry can be attributed to its ability to embrace new technologies such as GM technology.

Hon. Owen Paterson, UK Minister for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, delivered a speech in the British Irish Food Business Innovation Summit held on May 29, 2013. He said that the Summit and the food sector have an important role to play in helping unlock the potential of the UK and Irish economies. He emphasized that the success of the food industry can be attributed to its ability to embrace new technologies such as GM technology.

 

"It's no secret that I think GM technology has the potential to be a crucial tool for helping us to tackle the global challenges of food security and the sustainable intensification of agriculture. 17 million farmers cultivated 170 million hectares of GM crops globally in 2012, that's over 12 per cent of the world's arable land. This represents a 100 fold increase since 1996." He also told the experience of Brazil, where 90 percent of soya grown in the country is GM because it is 30 percent more cost effective, in addition to its environmental benefit of reducing pesticide and diesel use.

 

"The EU has the strongest and strictest safety-based regime for GMOs in the world - and its right that products should be subject to such controls. But there is more the EU as a whole can do to facilitate fair market access for products which have been through that system. The EU is being left behind when it comes to GM, and I fear we'll regret it if we don't try and catch up, " he added.

 

Read the complete transcript of Hon. Paterson's speech at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/rt-hon-owen-paterson-mp-speech-at-the-uk-ireland-food-business-innovation-summit.

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