GM Nation? The public debate

This is the official website for the Genetic Modification (GM) public debate. Use this site to read the findings of the debate, which took place in June 2003, and to find out more about the issues surrounding GM.
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Monday – Friday 9–11am
3849 Upton Avenue Brewer, ME 04412

The Findings

The report on the findings of the debate has now been published. You can read the executive summary or download a PDF of the full report.

What was the debate?

This was the UK’s first nationwide public discussion around GM issues. Meetings were organised across the country by local authorities and network groups.

Why Debate

To help inform policy-making on GM, findings from meetings – together with views submitted by the public through this site – were fed back to the Government.

Where do I start?

Genetic Modification (GM) involves moving genetic material from the cells of one organism to those of another, be they related or unrelated.

Who can I trust?

There is so much disagreement about the benefits and risks of GM because there are so many different views surrounding it. 

Get Connected

People disagree whether GM foods pose a health risk to those who eat them.

Service Times

People disagree about whether or not GM will lead to job losses in farming and other related areas.


At Divi Our vision and mission is to help connect people to faith

The suggestion that there should be a national debate stems from the report “Crops on Trial” published by the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) in September 2001. The Commission stressed the importance of encouraging a broader national debate on the issue. The report said,

“It will be crucial for the public to be involved in the important decisions which need to be taken. We have to find a way to foster informed public discussion of the development and application of new technologies.”

Government then asked the AEBC to provide further advice on how such a debate should be managed and this Summer the Environment Secretary, Margaret Beckett announced that the debate should go ahead in parallel with two other enquiries – one to look at the science behind GM issues click here for the science review website and another to look at economic issues click here for the economics study website. The Steering Board was asked to report to Government by June 2003.


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