> Princess Anne Speaks in Favour of GM Crops - The Food Safety Company Princess Anne Speaks in Favour of GM Crops - The Food Safety Company
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    Wednesday, 22 March 2017

    Princess Anne Speaks in Favour of GM Crops

    Genetically-modified crops and foodstuffs are a subject of much debate throughout the world. Some believe that, if properly conducted and regulated, these crops could provide a major benefit to the world in terms of attempting to eliminate food shortages and waste. Others, such as Prince Charles, have been vocal about their belief that GM crops have the potential to cause a widespread environmental disaster, and as such should be avoided at all costs.

    Why do we mention Prince Charles, you ask? Well, it turns out his views directly challenge those of another royal, namely Princess Anne, who recently told BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today that “we have to accept” the process could help production and livestock health, whilst playing an important role in feeding the populations of Britain and beyond.

    As a working farmer and patron of nearly 50 countryside organisations, Princess Anne certainly has better credentials than her brother when it comes to backing up her claims on this particular subject.

    “We grow some very good plants here remarkably easily,” she said. “I don't see the problem in saying ‘is there something we could do to improve their abilities?’

     “To say we mustn't go there 'just in case' is probably not a practical argument.”

    The Princess went so far as to state that she would happily make use of GM techniques on her own land, where she keeps rare-breed livestock. She told Farming Today presenter Anna Hill, “I have rare breed 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.”

    She does however accept that GM carries with it some unique challenges, but asserts that the downsides would be “occasional” as compared to the benefits, which would far outweigh them.

    “If we are going to be better at providing food of the right value, then we have to accept genetic technology – whether you call it modification or anything else.

    “How you define what is harmful or what is good seems to me to be rather more difficult. Most of us would argue we have been genetically modifying food since man started to be agrarian. But everyone would say: ‘It doesn’t happen so quickly.’”

    This full interview with the Princess Royal will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Farming today on Thursday 23 March from 5:45am GMT.

    Sam Bonson

    Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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