I am not aware that anyone has suggested scientific endeavour in the fields of agriculture and food production should be confined to what we know at present.
The application of marker-assisted breeding to help classical plant breeders produce new varieties with beneficial characteristics is already well advanced and no doubt will continue to progress.
The problem the agricultural biotechnology industry has is that most of its promises, such as increased yield and reduced herbicide use, have not been delivered. The latest claim is that GM is the best way to produce blight-resistant potatoes.
Joanna Blythman's piece highlighting the impressive progress being made on blight resistance by the Sárvári Research Trust using conventional breeding clearly showed that this is not the case. What is more, Sárvári potatoes are already on the market, providing growers with a highly sustainable option for blightfree potatoes something the biotech industry is several years away from achieving.
Even if the GM versions get EU approval, the potato industry would immediately face the costs of ensuring that GM and non-GM potatoes were successfully segregated from seed to plate to meet customers' demands.
Pete Riley, campaign director, GM Freeze