Rothamsted in Harpenden is the longest running agricultural research centre in the world. It has been providing cutting-edge science and innovation for over 170 years. Last week, Hitchin and Harpenden MP Rt Hon. Peter Lilley welcomed leading Conservative MEP Vicky Ford to the centre.
The East of England is home to a significant number of the world’s top researchers working to increase crop productivity and to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production. Rothamsted Research is an excellent example of how publically funded research is providing benefits for society and the economy in the UK, as well as helping to tackle global challenges, such as feeding a growing population.
Projects like the efforts to introduce Omega-3 oils to the oilseed Camelina plant could have important health benefits; other projects increase resistance of crops to disease and drought.
Welcoming Mrs Ford and Mr Lilley to Rothamsted Professor Martin Parry Acting Director of Rothamsted Research, which receives strategic funding from the BBSRC, said "We are proud to show our research and its impact to the widest possible audience. Many of our projects have been supported by science grants from the EU and Vicky Ford’s work on the £70billion Horizon fund will help us continue to find solutions to tomorrow’s problems."
Vicky Ford MEP said "It is really important that top scientists continue to look at crop research. Politicians shouldn’t say all GM crops are good or all are bad. We should look at each case on merit, just like we look at new medicines on their individual merits. Rothamsted is a world-leading organisation and we should support their work."
Peter Lilley MP added "Rothamsted is a world leader in all forms of crop research which is vital to ensure that food production continues to outstrip population growth. Vicky and I are determined to ensure that the EU does not stand in the way of Rothamsted making an even greater contribution to the wellbeing of the world."