The Council for Science and Technology has published a report commissioned from an independent panel of scientists that is an update on GM science www.gov.uk/government/publications/genetic-modification-gm-technologies.
Responding the report, Prof Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "Providing sufficient nutritious food for a growing global population is one of the most serious challenges facing the world. Science alone will not solve this but without the help of new scientific tools and technologies we will struggle to feed future generations.
"Against a backdrop of pressure on land use, population growth and disruption from climate change to farming practices we need to ensure we are exploring and encouraging the broadest spectrum of innovations. There needs to be an environment where the most appropriate approaches can be developed and evaluated and GM needs to be part of this. Regulatory systems and processes also need to change to allow European citizens and farmers to have the choice to take advantage of benefits from new crops as rapidly and as safely as possible.
"As the single biggest public investor in UK food and agriculture research and funder of some of the most recognisable institutions in plant and crop science, BBSRC welcomes this report. We will be engaging with the recommendations of this report and work with our partners, evaluating how all approaches can be supported for the greatest public good."
BBSRC has not been involved in the development of the CST report. The review was led by Professor Sir David Baulcombe, a BBSRC funded researcher and member of BBSRC Council. The independent expert panel included other BBSRC funded researchers.