Peer suggests redirecting funds for organic farming to research

In a debate on genetically modified food in the House of Lords on 17 October, Lib Dem peer Dick Taverne asked Conservative peer Rupert Ponsonby whether he would lobby the farming minister to “transfer the millions of pounds that are available for conversion to organic our first-class research institutes such as Rothamsted and the John Innes Centre”.

Ponsonby replied that the government's recently announced agri-tech strategy would "go a long way towards achieving the objectives that [Taverne] desires”. The strategy was published on 22 July and pledged £160 million for agricultural innovation centres and collaborative R&D projects.

During the debate, Ponsonby said that GM was one of several “tools in the box” in food technology, and agreed that funding research is an effective way of tackling the issue of food security around the world.

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