GMO study for “balanced” approach
London – Europe should weigh the benefits as well as the risks when evaluating new farm technologies that may be the key to future food security, an advisory report for the UK government has recommended. The ACRE (Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment) study said it was time for “a more balanced and holistic” approach to regulation. “We can’t wall off avenues that we need in the future”, said ACRE Chairman Chris Pollock. His report stated that the current approvals system for genetically modified crops, which focuses purely on potential risks, was unbalanced. Under the current rules, evidence of potential environmental benefits such as the reduced herbicide use leading to lower CO2 emissions were not considered.
The commission recommends a wider approval process that should be expanded to include changes in farming practices such as biofuels that also have an environmental impact. Among others, the change from spring to winter sowing for arable crops and a shift from hay cutting to silage production is suggested by the authors.