Crop Protection Association (CPA) chief executive Nick von Westenholz has said the EU policy on GM technologies and the regulation of crop-protection products are a "real concern".
He told a Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum seminar that the EU's approach to these issues "does not seem to me to be particularly science-based and is often a knee-jerk reaction to sometimes emotive, often honest, but poorly informed campaigns".
But he praised what he called "a positive message coming out of Government" on support for innovation in farming. "UK farmers, in my experience, are keen adopters of new technology, whether that's precision farming techniques using GPS software or integrated pest-management control through using new crop-protection products alongside new cultivation techniques."
But he added: "There's no point us having this important discussion about how we target research and development and transfer that knowledge to the field if it's going to be held up in a bottleneck by policy-makers."
The seminar last month brought together leading policy-making and industry figures to discuss implementation of the Green Food Project, a joint initiative between Government, industry and environmental partners that set out its goals in a report last July.
Confusing landscape NFU calls for clarity
NFU chief land-management adviser Dr Andrea Graham told the seminar: "We need to make sense of what is currently a very fragmented and, to our farmer members, a sometimes pretty confusing landscape of advice and knowledge exchange."
She said the next phase of the NFU-backed Campaign for the Farmed Environment will be to bring together initiatives such as the Greenhouse Gas Action Plan, Tried & Tested on nutrient management and the Voluntary Initiative on pesticide use.
She added: "We will be looking for synergies between these different industry initiatives in the next couple of months."