GM isn’t scary, says SOFHT chairman

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food

Genetically modified (GM) foods should not be scary and a balanced debate about the science must take place for the food industry to provide consumers with more choice.

That’s the opinion of Alan Lacey, the Society of Food Hygiene and Technology’s new chairman, who said the benefits of GM food outweighed the arguments against it.

“It shouldn’t be scary, there’s got to be an illustration of the benefits of GM to consumers,” ​said Lacey.

“Consumers want the choice and they want the power to buy what they want to buy.”

Many benefits

GM food offered consumers and food manufacturers many benefits in terms of shelf-life, taste and nutrition, he added.

“You could enhance fruit and vegetables so they are more attractive, ​[have] a better flavour and a good degree of ripeness.”

One of the major issues keeping GM foods off UK supermarket shelves was the lack of transparency in current debates, he claimed.

“There’s got to be transparency in the debate and the government has to manage that,” ​said Lacey.

“Although, saying that, there is mistrust in the government and I think consumer organisations will also have a large role to play.”

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Understanding the balance of risk and reward

Posted by Jonathon Harrington,

The media have a very important job to do with these issues as the term GM has already become established as 'bad' whereas terms like 'organic', 'natural'and 'traditional' seem to be accepted as 'good'. Explaining to consumers that much of plant biotechnology is a means to an end is essential. Much of the media seem desperate to give the debate 'balance' often at the cost of the truth and this is a disservice to us all.

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GM yes No

Posted by steven horton,

The story - is dependent on the volume of consumption of food consumed. It is totally dependent on whether the food is consumed raw or after heat, water & other chemical changes take place.
In the case of edible oils - we have tested GM oils and found them to decompose faster than Non GM oils. This means GM oils are less stable, not as safe, less nutrition and HARMFUL.
So it all comes down to what happens to the GM products on offer. There is no doubt in my mind that a fresh raw protein rich GM cell is going to at some stage change my own immunity from being healthy to being unhealthy.

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