Princess Anne, a farmer herself, has stated she is in favour of growing genetically modified (GM) crops and livestock.
The Princess Royal spoke about GM crops and animals on the BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme yesterday: “There may be an occasional downside, but I suspect not very many” she said of the controversial topic.
She added: “GM is one of those things that divides people, but surely if we’re going to be better at producing food of the right value then we have to accept that genetic technology – whether you call it modification or anything else – is going to be part of that. GM is one of those things that divides people but surely if we are going to be better at producing food of the right value, then we have to accept that genetic technology is going to be part of that.”
“I do think that in the future gene technology has got real benefits to offer, which will maybe have an occasional downside, but I suspect not very many,”
Princess Anne says #GM crops have important benefits in an exclusive interview with us
— Farming Today (@BBCFarmingToday) March 22, 2017
“Most of us would argue we have been genetically modifying food since man started to be agrarian, but everybody would say it doesn’t happen so quickly via conventional selective breeding.” she also said.
Anne, 67, lives on the Gatcombe estate in Gloucestershire and has done since the 1970s. She is a passionate organic farmer, but these views conflict with Prince Charles’.
Since the mid 90s there has been a debate about the safety and need for genetically modified (GM) crops and foods. These crops and foods are intended to improve characteristics such as size, resistance to disease and taste modifying its DNA through genetic engineering techniques.
Her brother has long opposed GM crops, calling them the “seeds of disaster” in 1998.
The Princess backs “real benefits” of genetically modified farming, she was asked if would grow them on her own land.
She replied saying: “Yes, I mean arguably I think we’re already doing that to some extent.” She also said she would welcome GM animals: “I have rare breeds livestock, so genetic modification would be a bonus, if I could just find a way of making them a little more robust in terms of survivability.”
Genetically modified crops can be grown by farmers after Britain pulls out of the European Union in the next few years. New rules will be developed by the government to regulate GM technology. But major fears of environmentalists is that after Brexit the UK will flooded by GM American food.
The full interview will be played today at 5.45pm.