The ban on GM crops by European countries should be reassessed, the president of UK science body the Royal Society says. Prof Venki Ramakrishnan said the science of genetic modification had been misunderstood by the public and it was time to set the record straight. He said it was inappropriate to ban an “entire technology” and products should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. But opponents say GM crop technology is untested and the ban should remain.
Prof Ramakrishnan said that the blanket ban on GM crops by European countries was misconceived. His comments coincide with a guide published by the Royal Society, which describes itself as the UK’s independent scientific academy, for the general public.
Prof Ramakrishnan acknowledged there were some “legitimate worries”. One he said was the fear that a small number of multinational corporations would monopolise food production. This could in turn lead to the loss of thousands of varieties of fruits, vegetables and cereals unless the technology was properly regulated.
In a statement, the Soil Association said it believed that the Royal Society guide was neither neutral nor unbiased as it claims. “Everyone knows that there are at least some scientific controversies, and disagreements about evidence concerning GM crops. None of these are mentioned in the Royal Society document,” the statement read.