Government to review GM crop rules ahead of Brexit

Defra minister George Eustice says the UK will review GM crop regulations in preparation for leaving European Union.

Mr Eustice made the comments in a written parliamentary answer:

As part of the preparations for EU exit, the Government is considering possible future arrangements for the regulation of genetically modified organisms. The Government’s general view remains that policy and regulation in this area should be science-based and proportionate.

George Eustice, Written question – 48641 – UK Parliament

Mr Eustice’s answer has led to suggestions that English farmers may get the go-ahead to grow GM crops after Brexit.

According to The Times, England is likely to move to a system requiring companies and scientists to prove “traits” used to improve GM organisms are not damaging to human health.

A Defra spokesman told The Independent that in the wake of the Brexit vote “everything is under discussion”, but added that concrete regulations surrounding GM crops had yet to be drawn up.

The Country Land and Business Association said the government would need to “show leadership in demonstrating the benefits and safety” of GM technology to ensure consumers had confidence in any arrangements.

Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett went further, saying it was the market, not politicians or pro-GM companies, which would decide the fate of the technology in the UK, reported Farmers Weekly.


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