The GM or ‘biotechnology’ debate needs to start with consumers, according to NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond, following remarks made by a shopper at the conference, who said they would not buy anything with GMs although admitting feeling “ignorant about so-called Frankenstein foods.”

Sparking debate among the audience, pig producer James Black believed misrepresentation of facts had occurred around the whole GM debate. He explained that even if his pigs had been fed on genetically modified soya none of his pigs would contain GM material in the meat.

“During the digestive processes every single protein fed to pigs is broken down into amino acids which are absorbed by the pig in exactly the same way as any other protein is. So I can guarantee no meat will contain any genetically modified material.”

The Grocers Michael Barker, added a public figure was needed to get the GM issue wide open, although Mr Raymond believed it was down to the governments’ chief scientist to portray the messages.