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UK panel finds GM food safe

As predicted, the UK’s GM Science Review Panel report has found no scientific case for ruling out GM crops and their products and concludes that the risks to human health from GM crops currently on the market are very low.

Released yesterday, the panel’s findings were the result of a full, open and independent review of current scientific knowledge on GM crops and foods.

The British Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and panel Chairman, Sir David King, said he hoped the honest and unbiased findings would enable debate and decision to be informed by sound scientific evidence.

GM is not a single homogenous technology and its applications need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. We cannot know everything but if we are paralysed by uncertainty, innovation and progress will be stifled. GM technology must not be considered in a vacuum, but alongside conventional agricultural and food applications.

Worldwide there have been no verifiable ill effects reported from the consumption of GM crops by humans and cattle. The panel concluded future GM crops may present greater risk management challenges and that it is important to continue to develop safety assessment technologies, effective surveillance, monitoring and labelling systems.

Field experiments with current generation GM crops show they are highly unlikely to become ‘superweeds’ or toxic to wildlife.

A follow-up report later this year will consider public comments together with the results of the recent GM public debate that has taken place in the UK, and any further scientific developments from GM farm scale evaluations if available.

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