GM proposal wecomed by Tongue End farmer

Julian Davis.
Julian Davis.
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Proposals to allow a second GM crop in the UK have been backed by Tongue End farmer Julian Davis.

Farm minister Owen Paterson has called on the European Union to approve a strain of genetically modified maize in a vote later this month.

If approved, the insect-resistant maize would be the first GM crop authorised for planting in the EU for 15 years.

Without it, Mr Paterson said Europe risked becoming the “Museum of World Farming”.

Julian, who grows cereals but not maize, said the majority of the crop grown locally was destined for anaerobic digesters, and so would not go into the food chain in any case.

He added: “As a development it could be useful. With the ban on neonicotinoids, genetically modified crops may be the way out of this in reducing the use of insecticides, so in many ways it would be useful.

“If we stick our heads in the sand, the rest of the world will develop. We have to be careful, but we have to continue to progress.”