Live updates

Anne: GM crops can be 'more efficient use of the land'

Princess Anne has explained why she supports genetically modified crops - despite her brother Charles being an outspoken opponent of them.

"They do add to our ability to perhaps be more efficient users of the land," she told BBC One's Countryfile.

"I think in the long-term, when you've got the prospect of nine billion [people] to feed, you are going to need some help in doing that."

Prince Charles once warned that the development of GM crops risked creating "the biggest disaster environmentally of all time" and accused multinational corporations of conducting an experiment with nature which had gone "seriously wrong".

£6.4 million grant to develop genetically modified crops

British scientists have won a £6.4 million grant to develop GM crops - one of the largest single investments into genetic modification in the UK. The money was awarded by the Gates Foundation and will be used to cultivate corn, wheat and rice that need little or no fertiliser.

Genetically modified oilseed rape Credit: Press Association

It is hoped the work at the John Innes Centre in Norwich will benefit struggling maize farmers in sub-Saharan Africa who cannot afford to treat their crops. Scientists are trying to engineer cereal crops capable of taking nitrogen from the air rather than needing chemical ammonia spread on fields.

Advertisement