from Tony Combes, deputy chair, Agricultural Biotechnology Council


Sir; Talking to the thousands of visitors to Food & Drink Expo who came to the ABC stand, a number of issues stood out.

First, everyone who tasted the GM beer said they enjoyed it and as a result, the microbrewer Kenth is finalising distribution arrangements for his beer to be available to UK customers in pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants in the north of England.

Second, two years ago at Expo, 32% of those completing our attitude to GM survey thought GM products would be back on the supermarket shelves within two years. In 2004 that figure has now risen to over half (53%).

Third, our leaflet detailing the EU’s new GM labelling and traceability regulations, which come into force on Sunday April 18, was in such demand that we nearly ran out of supplies.

Despite their anomalies and difficulties in enforcement, these regulations are about providing choice. Consumers will be able to read clearly on a product’s label whether it contains GM or not. The people who want it will get the information they need to make a choice.

>>p27 Trail of confusion