Britain Struggles to Turn Anti-GM Tide

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Science  28 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5419, pp. 1442-1444
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5419.1442

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In an effort to restore public confidence in genetically modified crops and food, the British government last week announced the creation of two new commissions to advise politicians on the long-term impact of genetic technologies on human health, agriculture, and the environment. At the same time, the government released a report from its chief scientific adviser and chief medical officer which concluded that there was no "current evidence to suggest that the GM [genetic modification] technologies used to produce food are inherently harmful." They did, however, call for a public health surveillance network that will quickly flag any problems that may arise among people eating GM foods, such as allergic reactions. The tactics seem not to have worked, however.