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We took wrong approach to GM foods, says Defra adviser

The UK government and the country's scientists did not pay sufficient attention to public scepticism around genetically modified food, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said.

Ian Boyd, whose three-year contract at Defra will end in September, was discussing balancing scientific evidence with people’s personal values at a Royal Society event on 29 June. He said that this lack of attention had only served to increase resistance to GM technologies now.

"We got the judgment on that wrong," he said of GM foods. "And we’ve paid our price; it’s taken a very long time to make progress with what I believe to be an essential technology for moving us into a new era of food production.”

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