With the ability to use GM seed, UK farming will be able to make use of the latest technology already available to farmers in other parts of the world. Because their costs will be reduced, the UK farmers will then be able to market their products competitively on world markets without their present dependence on subsidy. This will mean a profitable, sustainable UK agriculture, which benefits both the farmer and the economy. British farmers want the chance to compete with the rest of the world on a level playing field; they don't want to be prisoners of subsidies and public charity.

In 2003, farmer opinion in the UK broke down as follows:

Unequivocally in favour of using GM crops
For GM crops after further consideration
Against the use of GM crops
Don’t know

All industries, including farming, have to take advantage of new developments when they occur; other countries' farmers are already doing so on a large and increasing scale, and we are being left behind. If UK agriculture is denied access to proven beneficial technologies it will become uncompetitive and unsustainable; we will all suffer the consequences of living in a poorer country, paying higher prices for our foods and having to import more of it from abroad.

We should not forget that the first GM food to be marketed in the UK was a tomato puree. The majority of consumers believed it tasted better than its non-GM counterpart and it was sold at a lower price, clearly a benefit to the weekly shopping bill.


  questions & answers
30. How will farming in the UK progress and compete?