Political pressure is mounting on the European Commission to approve trade and production of GM soya and wheat.

The government's chief scientific adviser David King said there was a "moral case" to grow GM crops in the EU to feed an expanding population with dwindling water resources.

Trade bodies Coceral and Fefac, representing the grain trade and feed millers respectively, said shoppers would face rising food prices unless GM soya imports were given the green light.

Failure to do so had already cost the livestock industry €2bn in higher feed costs and could cause "irreversible damage" in coming years, according to Fefac president Pedro Correa de Barros.He warned that the EU risked greater imports of food from third countries, where animals were reared on less well-regulated GM feed. "The EU's policy results in artificial feed and food price inflation, which could further affect the purchasing power of EU citizens," he said.