GM Crops

The GM Science Review Panel looked at all aspects of the safety and introduction of GM crops into the UK . While the work did not look at impacts in developing countries, many of the conclusions can be extrapolated usefully: in all some 600, reviewed, scientific publications were examined during the process. The full reports and supplementary material is available on the website The report was submitted to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and her counterpart in the devolved governments, and is being incorporated into European directives and decision making on GM crops and food.

The reports found no scientific case for ruling out all GM crops and their products. It addressed the general characteristics of GM, but emphasised that GM is not a single homogeneous technology and its applications should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Worldwide there have been no verifiable ill effects reported from the extensive consumption of products from GM crops over seven years by humans and livestock. The Panel concluded that the risks to human health from GM crops currently on the market are very low. For the current generation of GM crops, the most important issue was their potential effect on farmland and wildlife; detailed field experiments on current GM crops show that in a range of environments they are very unlikely to invade the countryside, nor are they likely to be toxic to wildlife.

The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir David King who chaired the panel said:

"The Science Review has systematically examined the issue of GM crops in the UK and provides a comprehensive scientific analysis. The exhaustive work of my panel will enable research and policy debates on GM to be informed by the most up to date and sound scientific evidence.

"The Science Review has been widely regarded as a positive and useful contribution to the UK Government's wider GM dialogue. The innovative process of the GM Science Review, particularly the way it has been structured on the issues and concerns raised by public and experts alike, provides important lessons and a model for the future."