Within the next ten to fifteen years, genetically modified meat could hit UK supermarket shelves, predict researchers from the Royal Society

The 50-page report published yesterday by the society pointed to the increased importance of the use of genetic engineering in livestock rearing. It pointed out that the science can be used to increase animal welfare and should be subject to strict regulations and safety tests.

Professor Patrick Bateson commented: “We share the concerns of many members of the public about welfare issues and we believe that the research should minimise the suffering to animals while maximising the gain to medicine, agriculture and our fundamental understanding of biology.”

He added that within the next ten to fifteen years it will be feasible to breed animals that are resistant to diseases or bacteria. This could include chicken that are resistant to salmonella, for example, or GM cattle that produce leaner meat.