The GM Science Review formed one element of the UK government’s “national dialogue” on GM issues, which took place in 2003. The Science Review aimed to provide a summary of the (then) current scientific knowledge about GM crops, and fed directly into the UK government’s decision-making process on the commercialisation of GM crops. This, supplementary Second Report of the GM Science Review Panel, is a comprehensive literature review. It was co-authored by a panel of 22 selected specialists, ranging from plant breeders to environmental scientists.

The aim of the review was to ensure that policy-makers were informed about the best scientific evidence available. The panel was given a specific brief to highlight the remaining areas of uncertainty in scientific understanding of GM crops. The panel concludes that there is no scientific case for an outright ban on the commercial cultivation of GM crops in the UK, but neither do they find evidence to support a blanket approval. Instead, the panel recommends that new crops should be analysed on a case-by-case basis prior to commercial approval.

This report is a valuable summary of the state of scientific knowledge relating to the cultivation of GM crops, and is especially of interest to anyone who needs to refer to the fundamental research.