CPA chief executive Dominic Dyer has called on organic industry leaders to stop demonising pesticides and GM crops. Speaking at a Soil Association meeting in London on 3 December, Dyer said global crop production would need access to all available tools in the years ahead and could not afford to rule out particular approaches.
"GM technology has been widely adopted by millions of growers, many in resource-poor regions of the developing world," said Dyer. "Fourteen years of consistent growth in the global GM crop sector confirms that the technology offers advantages at the farm level.
"The organic sector has also seen rapid expansion over the same period. While bio-technology and crop protection do not hold all the answers, neither does organic agriculture."
Dyer explained that there was a critical need to reverse R&D cuts if the challenges were to be met.
He added: "What's needed is an inclusive, collaborative approach bringing together the best of all systems because there is no black and white solution - no panacea to address the challenge of sustainable and secure food production."