Speaking at the announcement of his retirement at the end of this year, Professor Sir David King said the UK had been too slow in pushing ahead and building more nuclear power stations.
He said renewable energy would not be enough on its own to meet the UK’s targets for greenhouse gas emissions and that we should have started building new power stations in 2003.
He also predicted that GM crops would be essential to deal with an ever-growing population and diminishing water supplies.
The UK, said Professor King, who has been the Government’s chief scientist since 2003, should be at the forefront of the 'positive use of GM technology.'
Anti-GM campaigners said there was no reliable evidence that GM crops would meet population and climate change challenges.
'Despite 30 years of research, over ten years of commercialisation, and massive financial support from the UK Government, GM crops have failed to deliver the sustainable solutions that are urgently needed,' said Friends of the Earth's GM campaigner Clare Oxborrow.
'GM crops often need more pesticides, provide lower yields and cause widespread contamination. The main benefits they have brought are to the handful of multinational companies who have gained an increased control of the food system,' she added.
To read a full interview with David King click here
To learn more about GM and Biofuels click here
This article first appeared in the Ecologist November 2007