29 October 1998
Prince Charles urges boycott of GM crops
By FWi staff
THE Prince of Wales has urged consumers to boycott imports of food made from genetically modified (GM) crops and buy organic instead.
Speaking at the 1998 Organic Food Awards in London, the Prince said that GM crops could harm food quality and cost jobs.
But demand for organic food so far outstripped supply that about two-thirds of organic produce sold in Britain had to be imported.
If more farmers grew organic food then job opportunities on the land would increase, said the Prince, citing a recent survey that showed employment increased on some farms by 80% after conversion to organic production.
“This must be a wasted opportunity at a time when it is forecast that 15% of farmers will cease farming this year,” he added.
“Organic farming provides major benefits for wildlife and the environment. The best that can be said about genetically engineered crops is that they will be monitored to see how much damage they will cause.”
Organic farming provided high quality and premium prices, but genetically modified crops were only designed to provide high yields, said the Prince.
“Consumers can choose whether or not to buy organic produce. Genetically modified ingredients will deny us that choice,” he added.