Genetically modified crops should be grown in the UK, the government's new chief scientist Professor John Beddington has said.

Speaking at the Commons innovation, universities and skills committee, Professor Beddington, who will take up the chief scientist role next month, said: “I think there is little doubt that GM has real potential for increasing food production in a friendly way, though clearly we need some fairly serious controls.”

The fact that GM crops have been grown for a very long period in America and there hasn't been, as far as I'm aware, any litigation in a very litigious society, indicates that they are relatively safe,” he added.