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Millennials in favour of GM crops as 'young people embrace technology'

Scotland’s staunch opposition to genetic modification (GM) and GM crop technologies may be out of step with youngsters.

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Millennials in favour of GM crops

A survey published this week by polling organisation Populus on behalf of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council revealed respondents aged 18-24 were the most supportive with only 22 per cent of respondents objecting to the use of gene editing and GM cropping.

 

The benefits were widely recognised with about 50 per cent of the younger age bracket agreeing these technologies can play a major role in making UK farming more sustainable for the future.


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There was a wide acceptance of other advances with only 26 per cent of those surveyed objecting to the use of self-driving tractors on farms.

 

Supportive

 

The Populus survey covered 1,600 millennials in the 18 to 30 year olds age group with those aged 18-24 the most supportive of the latest techniques.

The results come as Defra concludes its public consultation into how agricultural policy should look post Brexit.

 

The proposals put forward by Secretary of State Michael Gove would appear to recognise that developing and adopting the next generation of food and farming technology could reduce the impact of pests and diseases and improve the UK’s competitiveness.

 

As agriculture is a devolved policy area, the Scottish Government will also have the chance to set out its priorities for the sector post Brexit.

 

Mark Buckingham, chairman of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council said: “We are delighted to see young people embrace technology as part of the future of farming.

 

With Brexit on the horizon, techniques such as editing individual genes in crops to make them more resistant to diseases, are going to be essential to help British farmers and scientists lead the world in agri-science.”

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