The mass development of genetically modified crops risks causing the world’s worst environmental disaster, the Prince of Wales has warned. In his most outspoken intervention on the issue of GM food, the Prince said that multi-national companies were conducting a “gigantic experiment … with nature and the whole of humanity which has gone seriously wrong”.

The Prince … also expressed the fear that food would run out because of the damage being wreaked on the earth’s soil by scientists’ research. Relying on “gigantic corporations” for food, he said, would result in “absolute disaster. That would be the absolute destruction of everything… and the classic way of ensuring there is no food in the future,” he said. “What we should be talking about is food security not food production. And if they think its somehow going to work because they are going to have one form of clever genetic engineering after another then again count me out, because that will be guaranteed to cause the biggest disaster environmentally of all time.”

“Small farmers, in particular, would be the victims of [large corporations] taking over the mass production of food. “I think it’s heading for real disaster,” he said. “We [will] end up with millions of small farmers all over the world being driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness.” The Prince of Wales’s forthright comments will reopen the whole debate about GM food.