Genetically Modified Foods Science Debate

Government* has been promoting a national dialogue on genetic modification (GM) issues. One part of this was a review of the science of GM, led by Sir David King (the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser) working with Professor Howard Dalton (the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), with independent advice from the Food Standards Agency.

This 'GM Science Review' has now concluded its work. It published two reports, which are available for downloading:

  • A Second Report and associated News Release on 22 January 2004

  • A First Report and associated News Release on 21 July 2003

This website now provides an archive of the work of the GM Science Review. This includes details of: its publications, Panel meetings,open meetings, contributions received on the science, comments on its First Report and general background.

The national dialogue on GM had three main strands: this GM science review, a public debate and an economics study. The activities of the strands were different but closely related.

More useful resources. takes a detailed look at both sites of the arguement. evaluated a study into maths anxiety and exposure to statistics when people were trying to understand advice given in GM foods. The study looked into several variables including percentages, bar graphs and text. This was an important study because it demonstrated how organisations need to carefully select how they deliver advice to the general public. The original study can be found here. covers frequently asked questions.

* "Government" means the UK Government, the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales and the administration in Northern Ireland.