All revolutions breed extremists. But we believe the genetically modified food issue merits a more considered hearing than has so far been delivered on this side of the Atlantic. So The Grocer makes no apology this week for devoting four pages to the subject which is causing high blood pressure among European parliamentarians, lobbyists and food industry executives alike. Our exclusive interview in St Louis with Monsanto agricultural chief Hugh Grant is not designed to plug the arguments in favour of GM foods. Indeed, it will probably spark a response from the anti-GM brigades, especially as The Grocer has never participated in the vilification of GM. But since ill considered, anti-progress publicity campaigns by self appointed environmental groups have been allowed to influence media and consumer agendas, we believe it's important to present all sides of the most important issue ever to face food science. Particularly in the light of the prime minister warning us against turning into a nation given to never-ending kneejerk opposition to scientific progress. Grant says Monsanto was arrogant in the way it chose to project the benefits of genetic modification on this side of the pond. It was. And we believe the St Louis conglomerate was also hopelessly naive in first attempting, several years ago, to convert a suspicious British public so recently battered by BSE, salmonella and E.coli. But there are faint signs of a more constructive debate emerging. The claimed benefits ­ saving the starving ­ are well documented. But cases are also emerging to present GM in a different light. A non-allergenic peanut, a fibre-enriched grain to prevent colon cancer, and wheat which has been genetically modified to produce folic acid (to reduce incidence of spina bifida) are three suggested developments for the GM groups to ponder. I was criticised by internet activists for writing in our Millennium Brands supplement that GM would become a reality in UK grocery by 2010. After meeting Grant in St Louis, I see no reason to change my prediction. Clive Beddall, Editor {{OPINION }}