Environment Secretary Owen Paterson on Monday called for genetically modified food to be grown more widely and said opposition to it was “complete nonsense”, in an interview printed in the Daily Telegraph.
The coalition government has allowed small-scale cultivation trials for GM food, raising speculation that it could end the effective ban on its use which is currently in place.
This would likely spark protests from those who believe that GM food is harmful to the environment and human health.
“Emphatically we should be looking at GM — I’m very clear it would be a good thing,” Paterson told the Telegraph.
“The trouble is all this stuff about Frankenstein foods and putting poisons in foods.
“There are real benefits, and what you’ve got to do is sell the real environmental benefits,” he explained.
He claimed these benefits would include a reduction in the use of pesticides and a drop in the amount of fuel used by farmers.
Former prime minister Tony Blair pushed for the use of GM food in the 1990s, but retreated in the face of public concern. However, recent polls suggest that consumers are now more supportive of its introduction.