08 December 2007

Another GM Warning

"What we’ve got in Europe is a regulatory system that increasingly says cars are dangerous, you might get knocked over by a car, so we’d better ban automobiles. That is the logical conclusion of the way we see the regulatory system being applied today, and it’s an extremely worrying trend."
So one of the world's most senior agricultural business leaders, Michael Pragnell, the chief executive of Syngenta, describes Europe's "increasingly policitised regulatory environment" in an interview for today's Times. Pragnell warns that new European rules potentially banning many pesticides and a failure to embrace genetically modified crops risk a reduction in crop yields of between 35 and 40 per cent across Europe, which would drive up food prices and increase the pressure on land usage at a time when world population is expected to soar by another two billion over the next twenty years. Like Professor Sir David King, who steps down as the Government's chief scientist at the end of the year, he is urging ministers to abandon their neutral stance on GM crops and campaign in favour of the technology.


The Stonemason said...

It is difficult to find any business leader in favour of extra regulation. Agricultural busines practice has in recent years brought us BSE, foot-and-mouth and Avian flu, so forgive me if I'm less than impressed by his comments. What people want is food that is produced more locally, and in an environmentally friendly with higher standards of animal welfare. Agro-business and food business has made us as a nation overweight and culinarily ignorant. Ministers should acknowledge the food revolution that is happening on the ground and regulate for what the people (and therefore the market) want; not listen to depserate agro-business bosses trying to protect their own interests.