Public dialogue:

UK national consensus conference on plant biotechnology

November 1994

In 1994, in collaboration with the Science Museum, BBSRC commissioned a consensus conference on plant biotechnology. A group of 16 lay people took part in two briefing weekends ahead of the conference itself. The lay panel identified seven questions that they discussed with experts at the conference.

The lay panel gave the field of plant biotechnology its qualified support saying "there is scope for people to intervene in controlled ways which have the potential to provide significant benefits, and at the same time to satisfy the requirements of those people who feel that matters are progressing too quickly with an implied lack of care". The lay panel advocated, among other things, tightening up the regulations governing the release of genetically modified plants into the environment, establishing effective international controls over the commercial exploitation of plant varieties, and providing consumers with clear and comprehensible information about new biotechnological products.

The conference report is unfortunately not available electronically. Please contact BBSRC using the email address below if you would like any more information.