The Environment Secretary George Eustice has said that the UK will lead a revolution in developing climate change resistant crops. Writing in The Telegraph, Eustice said that gene editing technology is vital to ensure food security.
“Global gas prices have led to increased input costs for farmers across the UK and indeed the wider world, particularly for manufactured fertilisers, livestock feed, energy and fuel.
We need to look at the full range of solutions that are available to us, and we must work alongside our world-leading agricultural research institutes to do so.
Through these technologies, we will have the power to develop crops that are more resistant to pests and diseases, less reliant on fertilisers and pesticides – which will cut costs to farmers – and more resilient to climate change.
With water scarcity likely to become an increasing issue around the world, the ability to develop plants that cope better with water stress will be vital for global food security.”
The UK government has tabled a bill to allow farms grow more gene edited crops that will be more resistant to disease and need less water.
According to The Telegraph:
The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill has been presented to Parliament and it is hoped that it will be made law later this year with the first gene-edited foods on supermarket shelves by next year.
The Bill was outlined in the Queen’s Speech and is designed to “remove unnecessary barriers inherited from the EU” as well as boosting food production in the UK.
The use of the technology was initially scuppered by a 2018 ruling from the European Court of Justice that determined it should be regulated in the same way as genetic modification (GM).
It was inevitable that food containing genetically modified/gene edited ingredients would end up in UK supermarkets.
There will be no political resistance to it.