Millennials ‘have no qualms about GM crops’ unlike older generation

The advent of genetically modified crops caused a scandal in the 1990s.

But the younger generation is largely relaxed about eating GM foods, new research has shown, as farmers called for a post-Brexit technology revolution.

Two thirds of under-30s believe technology is a good thing for farming and support futuristic farming techniques, according to a survey.

Only 20 per cent of millennials expressed concerns about the benefits of gene editing or genetically modifying crops, despite decades of opposition and media warnings.

The poll of more than 1,600 18 to 30-year-olds, carried out for the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), also found that around two thirds of young people support the use of drones in livestock farming to count sheep and in arable farming to assess, monitor and spray crops.

A similar number also supports the use of innovations such as unmanned aerial vehicles to improve crop security and yields while only one in five object to the use of self-driving tractors on farms.

Proposals put forward by Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, which are currently under public consultation recognise that developing the next generation of food and farming technology could reduce the impact of pests and diseases and improve the UK’s competitiveness.

The ABC has called on the Government to use Brexit and the reset of agricultural policy to take advantage of ground-breaking technologies that have previously been blocked at EU level.

It said the use of gene editing and GM technology in the UK, post Brexit, could help British farming flourish.

Mark Buckingham, chair of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council said: “We are delighted to see young people embrace technology as part of the future of farming.

“Using cutting edge technology and growing techniques will enable the UK to deal with the serious challenges of keeping our farmers competitive, maintaining a safe, affordable food supply, and protecting our natural environment.

“With Brexit on the horizon, techniques such as editing individual genes in crops to make them more resistant to diseases are going to be essential to help British farmers and scientists lead the world in agri-science.”

 

Written by Victoria Wood in The Telegraph. See original article link here.