Celebrity chefs and other leading opinion-formers are poisoning the debate about genetically modified (GM) food, claims environmentalist and author Mark Lynas.
In this exclusive video, filmed at the Oxford Farming Conference last week, Lynas told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Celebrity chefs and middle-class food writers were communicating misinformation about GM.”
Such misinformation was blocking the introduction of GM food science, which could boost supplies of food worldwide while reducing inputs such as pesticide, fertiliser and diesel.
TV chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, gardener Monty Don and the Prince of Wales have all questioned the human and environmental safety of GM technology.
But Lynas said more than three trillion meals involving GM ingredients had been eaten in the past decade and a half without any adverse effect on human health.
GM varieties would be essential if farmers were to feed a predicted global population of 9.5bn by mid century without clearing huge areas of rainforrest for agricultural production, he said.
A former anti-GM campaigner, Lynas apologised to the audience for helping to lead the opposition to GM science in the 1990s.
Meanwhile, GM science is just one of the topics under discussion in a free webinar to take place at 11am GMT on Thursday January 24.
FoodManufacture.co.uk has teamed up with the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) to help move the debate about controversial food science and technology topics onto a more secure scientific footing.
To book your free place, click here.