Genetically-modified blight resistant potatoes and antioxidant tomatoes could get the go-ahead for cultivation in the UK following Brexit under new plans being considered by the government.
Farming minister George Eustice confirmed that the government is looking at “possible future arrangements for the regulation of genetically-modified organisms”, in a written parliamentary answer, The Times has reported.
He added that the government’s approach would be that any regulations should be “science-based and proportionate”.
The English government is likely to move to a system that requires companies and scientists to prove that the “traits” in GM food could not damage human health, The Times said. In the past, ministers have argued that there is no scientific basis for opposition to GM crops, in contrast to political opposition in other European nations that has led to only one GM product being licensed since 1998 (a pest-resistant maize).
Any changes would not affect Scotland and Wales where governments have already stated their opposition to GM in principle, whereas the Westminster government has leaned toward a more favourable position on GM crops.