Sir; Gundula Azeez contests there is no consumer demand for GM food ('UK industry should step up GM opposition in US style', The Grocer, 13 January, p30). ABC (Agricultural Biotechnology Council) believes that consumers should be free to choose between GM, non-GM and organic products that are clearly labelled on the supermarket shelf and that have been approved by independent scientists as being safe for the environment and human health.

Furthermore, recent surveys would seem to refute Ms Azeez's assertions. An analysis of European consumer attitudes to GM by Peter Hutton of BrandEnergy Research in 2006 concluded that although public concerns existed in the late 1990s, they are now declining. Moreover, he found that the presence of GM material in food was a relatively insignificant consideration for most consumers, and that it was often less important than price and levels of sugar, salt or fat.

Finally, Azeez also overlooks the fact that late blight can be devastating to crops.

Research has always been a key factor in product development and the advancement of food technology, which is why these trials are an important step forward for British agriculture, the food industry and consumer choice.