Sir: Once again we see Friends of the Earth using taxpayers’ money to campaign against a technology with the potential to offer significant economic and environmental benefits to the UK (‘Stop the Crop campaign takes aim at GM crops in Europe’,, 19 February).

Over the past two decades, the European Commission’s scientific safety assessment process has consistently found that GM crops are at least as safe to eat as conventional crops. But during that time, Friends of the Earth has received more than €7m from the European Commission, which it has used to undermine this scientific consensus for ideological reasons.

At a time when taxpayers are funding research to make agriculture more sustainable, productive and secure, it makes little sense for more money to be used to fund challenges to this research, unless those campaigns are prepared to defend the scientific evidence in exactly the same way as any other public body would.

Dr Julian Little, chair, Agricultural Biotechnology Council