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Making Sense of GM

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There have been more Google searches on genetically modified (GM) crops in the past two years in the UK than anywhere else in the world. While there have been over a trillion GM meals consumed and nearly 120 million hectares of GM crops grown, very little of this is in Europe and still less in the UK. It is not surprising that people have questions about why that is, what GM is, what it can do, whether they are eating it and what would happen if they did. The discussion on the genetic modification of plants has caused furore beyond what might have been expected from a plant breeding technique, albeit a very innovative one. The development of GM plants and food has become proxy for other discussions, from food security to the economic power of multinational companies, which go far beyond the technology and its applications. In February 2009, Sense About Science released a guide entitled Making Sense of GM – What is the genetic modification of plants and why are scientists doing it? to launch a fresh public discussion about GM. This article reviews the initiative.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-04-01

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