GM Debate Clouded By Fields Of Gold Programme
NFU today condemned the Fields of Gold programme broadcast on BBC1
at the weekend, saying it would only serve to further cloud serious
and balanced debate on the complex issue of genetic modification.
his concern at the two-part thriller screened on Saturday and Sunday,
NFU President Ben Gill said he feared it would leave the public
needlessly confused and scared.
said: "The NFU believes it was irresponsible of the BBC to
screen this programme. There are many serious questions surrounding
the issue of GM crops.
that is precisely why debate must be balanced and informed by sound
science. Only this way can we fully assess the potential benefits
and concerns and make informed decisions about the proper role of
biotechnology in Britain and world-wide.
and sound science were thrown out of the window in Fields of Gold
in favour of sensationalism and science fiction. It may have been
exciting drama but if it has set back sensible debate on this important
subject, was it really worth it?"
NFU supports the current moratorium on the commercial growing of
GM crops in the UK until on-going trials have been completed to
assess the effects on wildlife and the environment. There is no
evidence that foods containing GM material present a greater safety
risk than non-GM food.
Gill also hit out at the programme's inaccuracies about farming,
animal welfare, the use of antibiotics and pesticides.
Gill added: "The programme's wildly distorted picture of farming
has left British farmers fuming.
is not enough to justify the screening of this programme at prime
time viewing by saying it was merely a work of fiction. Of course
people are influenced by what they see on television. We only hope
people recognised it for what it was - a work of fantasy."