Anti-GM groups have criticised DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson for backing the introduction of GM food technology in the UK.
Mr Paterson said there were "real environmental benefits" about the technology, adding that concerns about its effect on human health were "complete nonsense".
"Emphatically we should be looking at GM... I'm very clear it would be a good thing," Mr Paterson told the Daily Telegraph.
"The trouble is all this stuff about Frankenstein foods and putting poisons in foods. There are real benefits, and what you've got to do is sell the real environmental benefits."
But critics have rounded on his comments as further evidence that the government is planning a framework for GM farming.
In June, the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) held a meeting attended by ministers and government officials to discuss GM technology. A formal ministerial report is due next year.
Pete Riley of GM Freeze said Mr Paterson's comments on GMs were "factually inaccurate" and they ignored the UK government's own data from farm-scale trials a decade ago, which "showed GM crops harm wildlife".
"Mr Paterson seems to be formulating policy from an evidence base provided by the agri-biotech industry and ignoring the government's own data showing GM harms wildlife," added Mr Riley.
"He needs to consult more widely with people who understand the evidence."
Supporters of GM crops claim they increase yields while reducing pesticide use. However, those against the technology have pointed out the problems with herbicide intolerance, and so-called "superweeds", such as horseweed, giant ragweed and pigweed which are developing resistance to RoundUp Ready (glyphosate) weedkiller.
A recent study by Washington State University professor Charles Benbrook found that farmers have increased their pesticide use since the introduction of GM crops.
But Mr Paterson insisted GM crops were safe and consumers in the UK were already unwittingly eating GM food.
"There's about 160m hectares of GM being grown around the world," he said.
"There isn't a single piece of meat being served (in a typical London restaurant) where a bullock hasn't eaten some GM feed.
"So it's a complete nonsense. But, the humbug! You know, large amounts of GM products are used across Europe."
Mr Paterson added that he was confident David Cameron would find an "appropriate moment" to back GM food.
Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association, said: "Owen Paterson says that people are eating meat from animals fed of GM feed without realising it.
"That is because the British government has consistently opposed moves to labelling to give consumers accurate information, and he should put that right by immediately introducing compulsory labelling of meat and milk from animals fed on GM feed."
Friends of the Earth's senior food and farming campaigner Clare Oxborrow said: "The government should focus on funding cheaper, simpler and safer agricultural solutions that can deliver real benefits for consumers, farmers and the environment, rather than gambling on GM.
"A fresh approach to agriculture is urgently needed to serve up sustainable diets globally, including reduced meat consumption in wealthy nations and an end to food crops being used for biofuels."
Small-scale field trials of GM crops are under way in the UK, including a GM wheat trial at Rothamsted Research. However, farmers are currently banned from growing GM crops for commercial use in this country.
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