It was a sure bet that someone would snatch the genetic modification issue and turn it into a ratings grabbing TV film. Of course the BBC's Fields of Gold programme last weekend was a load of hysterical nonsense. The best science fiction thrillers usually are. Remember Alien and Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Trouble is, there are far too many in this green and pleasant land of ours who are influenced by everything they see on the good old telly ­ even when it is spawned by the fertile-minded folk in the drama departments. Those listeners and viewers usually inhabit the sector which annually writes to The Archers to order Christmas turkeys, or who protest that Wal-Mart may buy Coronation Street's corner shop, bulldoze the surrounding terraces, and open a supercentre. And, thanks to the power of the goggle box, there are plenty of those viewers around so it was inevitable that NFU president Ben Gill should spot the danger and condemn the programme with the cry that it would cloud serious discussion on the GM issue. Gill is right. The GM debate should be balanced and informed by sound science. There has been far too much hype and biased, slanted opinion around this issue. But then, we've been arguing that in these columns for months, often to be vilified by some for what they interpret as our ongoing campaign to support GM. So will Fields of Gold set back a sensible debate on this important subject? I hope not. What's really needed now is for the government or, more specifically, DEFRA, to organise either a public debate or a "GM summit". Perhaps the safest solution is for DEFRA and the Beeb to set up a nationwide TV debate, using the casts of The Archers and ITV's Emmerdale soap to present the show. And, while they're at it, the BBC could cast Rowan Atkinson as Patrick Holden of the Soil Association; Rory Bremner as Ben Gill; Shirley Bassey as Margaret Beckett, and Alistair McGowan as Prince Charles. That way, hopefully, everyone would understand the plot. {{OPINION }}