Farmers’ leaders today called the BBC ‘‘irresponsible’’ for screening the thriller Fields of Gold which dealt with the issue of genetically modified crops.
Ben Gill, president of Britain's National Farmers’ Union, said the programme had ‘‘set back sensible debate’’ on the issue.
He said the BBC1 drama, shown at the weekend and starring Anna Friel and Max Beesley, contained inaccuracies about farming, animal welfare, the use of antibiotics and pesticides.
‘‘The NFU believes it was irresponsible of the BBC to screen this programme,’’ he said.
‘‘There are many serious questions surrounding the issue of GM crops. That is precisely why debate must be balanced and informed by sound science.
‘‘Objectivity and sound science were thrown out of the window in Fields ofGold in favour of sensationalism and science fiction.
‘‘It may have been exciting drama but if it has set back sensible debate on this important subject, was it really worth it?’’
The NFU supports the current moratorium on the commercial growing of GMcrops in the UK until ongoing trials have been completed to assess the effects on wildlife and the environment.