A hardier potato is well worth celebrating; however, it is disappointing that Joanna Blythman (Second Opinion, 3 April) chooses to dismiss GM without consideration for the important role it plays in agriculture globally and the potential benefits it represents to UK farmers and consumers.

There is no shred of evidence to support the idea that GM poses any greater risk than other forms of plant breeding and food production. Indeed, in the past decade alone, more than two trillion meals with GM ingredients have been consumed, without a single substantiated example of harm to human health, while there are many more examples of sustainable farming practice supported by GM.

If we are to ensure food security in other words meet the demands of a rising population while limiting the environmental impact of food production we cannot solely rely on traditional or 'conventional' methods. And recent EU research suggests that when GM products are available in shops, consumers readily buy them.

Dr Julian Little, chair, Agricultural Biotechnology Council