Direct benefits for the UK consumer in the form of products on the shelves will take time to come through, but if we say "no" to further development we will never have them, while more far-sighted people will benefit.

There are five primary areas of benefit: farming, consumers, environment, skills base and the economy. For the UK in the short-term we will enjoy:

(a) farmers will be able to use the best of modern methods, increasing their efficiencies and incomes, contributing more and being less of a burden on the tax base;

(b) consumers will be offered the best quality products from our own country and around the world;

(c) in our own UK environment, we will be able to deploy more "environmentally-friendly" techniques without loss of productivity or the need to bring more land into agriculture, taking it away from recreational and wilderness uses;

(d) maintenance and improvements in our skills base, slowing down or preventing the loss of our scientists to more progressive countries;

(e) retention in the UK of extremely important technology-based industries based upon modern biology; at present those industries are increasingly finding a better research and business climate abroad.


A. Ryan, et al. (1999) Issues related to commercial implementation, in Genetically Modified Crops: the ethical and social issues. Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 37-56.

P.S. Belton and T. Belton (Eds.) (2002). Food, Science and Society - Exploring the Gap between Expert Advice and Individual Behaviour. Springer

G. Brookes & P. Barfoot (2005). GM Crops: The Global Economic and Environmental Impact—The First Nine Years 1996–2004. (


  questions & answers
 14. Will it benefit our lives and how? What's in it for me?