ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

29 November 2002

MORE ON UK SCIENCE REVIEW

Multiple items below.

They've set up the Science Review Panel as if the 2 NGO nominees balance out the industry figures - see comments by Prof King in the Guardian today: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,9174,850130,00.html - and the rest are independents, but with independents like these who needs Monsanto and Syngenta:

Professor Michael Wilson - winner of the PANTS ON FIRE award for misleading the public over GM crops amongst much else: http://ngin.tripod.com/pants5.htm. In a press interview with The Scotsman, Prof Wilson claimed independent research had already proven GM crops a beneficial technology that encouraged wildlife. We asked Wilson to identify the research in question. This he did but it turned out not to be from the source he'd claimed; not to be independent in the way he'd implied; and nor did it contain any evidence for benefits to wildlife!!!
[http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/false.htm]

There is also a massive level of vested interest represented on the panel. Take, for instance, the John Innes Centre which has 2 scientists on the panel plus members of its governing board like Prof Chris Leaver. Not only has the JIC also won a PANTS ON FIRE award for its false claims and multiple attempts to mislead over GM crops [http://ngin.tripod.com/pants3.htm] but it receives funding from just about every major biotech company, and has the Government's Lord Sainsbury as a major benefactor. Science Review panelist, Prof Mike Gale FRS of the JIC is even on record as admitting that any serious slow down or halt in the development of GM crops "would be very, very serious for us." [http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/biospin.htm]

Revealingly, we understand that in the government's press package to launch the panel were supportive comments assembled for the Government by the Science Media Centre 9see item 2 below) and then circulated to the media by the Government - so much for the SMC's supposed independence! As usual with the SMC, the range of opinion is not remotely the "spectrum" of voices of the scientific community that they are committed to providing, particularly on contentious issues like GM, but are uniformly supportive comments from the usual suspects, including the likes of Derek Burke, Lord May and Stephen Smith of Syngenta (since when was SS a scientist???). But then what can you expect from a Centre that has Dupont amongst its funders and whose director has written articles denying the Rwandan genocide!

The good news is that Blair and Sainsbury will never convince anyone but their own supporters by their shameless behaviour

1. REVIEW OF GM SCIENCE - Government's press release
2. Science Media Centre press release c/o HM Government
3. key issues from the website
4. Membership of Science Review Panel

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REVIEW OF GM SCIENCE

[Government's press release]
EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01HRS ON FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2002

The scientific community and members of the public interested in the science of Genetic Modification (GM) are today being invited to take part in a full and open independent scientific review to examine the extent of current scientific knowledge behind GM, with particular focus on crops.

Scientists at all levels, in the UK and beyond, are being asked to make contributions to the review via the review web site (www.Gmsciencedebate.org.uk) and at a series of open meetings being held across the country including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. At the meetings members of the public will also be able to ask questions or express views about GM science. Alternatively this can be done via the web site.

An independent scientific panel, chaired by Professor David King the Government‚s Chief Scientific Adviser working with Professor Howard Dalton Chief Scientific Adviser at DEFRA, will then review the extent of current scientific knowledge, the consensus and uncertainty. The panel will publish a final report next summer, which will aim to explain the outcome of the science review in understandable terms.

The panel includes leading scientists and lay people, selected by Professor King and Professor Dalton. Nominations for membership were requested and received from bodies including industry, the Royal Society, Genewatch, the Agriculture and Biotechnology Council, Friends of the Earth, the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) and Greenpeace. The Devolved Administrations were also consulted.

The scientific review is one of three strands of the GM debate being conducted in parallel. The other strands are the public debate and the study of economic costs and benefits. All three were requested by Margaret Beckett in May, in response to the recommendations of the AEBC.
 
The scientific topics being looked at will include:
* GM food safety;
* gene flow and detection;
* environmental impacts of GM crops;
* future developments; and
* the regulatory process.

These issues will be added to, and refined, as a result of information emerging from all sources, particularly from the public debate to ensure that the interest and concerns raised are addressed.

Professor King said:
 "This review presents a challenge to the wider scientific community to present new perspectives and offer fresh sources of knowledge on Genetic Engineering particularly focussing on crops. I am asking scientists in the UK and beyond to ask the right questions, present their evidence-based views and provide answers wherever possible.

"The aim of this review is to identify where there is consensus, where uncertainties lie and where there are gaps in knowledge, to inform both Government and the general public. There are absolutely no presumptions about the outcome of the review and the independent panel will consider all the contributions made.

"The review is also an opportunity for the scientific community to engage positively with the wider community, to demonstrate the benefits of science but also help people understand its limitations."

Professor Dalton added:
"There is no doubt that genetic modification is a subject which provokes strong views and opinions on all sides of the debate.  Science will undoubtedly play a vital role in informing and underpinning many of those views.

"We need to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to explore what we know about the science of GM and, most importantly, what we don't know.  It is critical that we use this debate to clarify the confusing pictures painted in some sections of the media to help distinguish between science fact and science fiction."

Prof Malcolm Grant, Chair GM Public Debate Steering Board, said:   "It's good news that the Science Review is now under way.  It is a key component of the national GM dialogue.  The Review's findings will feed into the public debate as it develops over coming months, and in turn be informed by public views emerging through the debate.  The Public Debate Steering Board looks forward to working constructively with the Science Review Panel."

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Membership of the science panel [see end of this GMW bulletin]

2. The web site will give concise summaries of the key issues backed by links to further information and opinion. Experts with interests in relevant subjects to GM science will be invited or may volunteer to contribute short pieces.  There will be a forum where the public can ask questions and comment. The site will also have details of where public meetings will be held.  Results of the open meetings and of the Panel‚s deliberations will also be made available, as well the draft and final report.

3. Government is promoting a national dialogue on genetic modification (GM) issues. GM techniques have opened up a wide range of possibilities, including GM crops.  The dialogue is supported by the UK government, the Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government, and the administration in Northern Ireland.  It has three main strands: this review of the science; a public debate  and an economics study.  The public debate strand is an innovative programme, with the issues framed for debate by the public.  The programme is being conducted at arms length from Government by an independent steering board, which will report to Government in June 2003 about what the debate has indicated about public views, particularly at the grass roots level, to inform Government decision-making.  The economics study is an analysis of the costs and benefits that could arise under different scenarios for the commercialisation of GM crops in the UK.  The Prime Minister's Strategy Unit is carrying out this study, which will be published in Spring 2003.

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2. Scientists welcome launch of science review of GM

Science Media Centre: Press Release

Professor Julia Goodfellow, Chief Executive, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, said:

"We welcome this initiative as a way of gauging the full extent of scientific knowledge in this important area and I encourage all scientists working on GM and related fields to take part in this review. Science is not a black and white issue and it is vital that we take the full range of scientific and public opinions into our considerations for the future."

Professor Chris Pollock, Research Director, Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, said:

"I welcome any opportunity for open debate around the science of novel agricultural technologies, and I support the format that is being adopted.  I believe that there is real value in helping the public to appreciate how scientists deal with uncertainty and differentiate between opposing views.  The scientific community will also gain understanding of peoples concerns and perceptions of where the risks and benefits lie."

Lord May of Oxford, President of the Royal Society, said:  "The Royal Society is strongly supportive of public debate on GM issues and has been at the forefront of this debate since 1998.

"It is crucial that this debate, which will range from the human health aspects of GM foods to the potential impacts of GM crops on the environment, is underpinned by sound science. Personally, I hope the debate will also extend to more general aspects of how new technologies of genetic modification can be best used to produce crops which reconcile environmental friendliness with consumer benefits. The Royal Society is encouraging all scientists to become actively involved in the debate."

Professor Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics, University College London, said:

"It‚s ironic that the British public are happy to accept stem cell research ˆ which clearly may have ethical implications ˆ but seem not willing to accept GM crops - which are almost certainly safe to eat.  In The United States it‚s exactly the other way round.  This just shows that the perception of science often stands apart from the science itself.  Scientists often prefer to rely on the research ˆ but of course the public must have a say ˆ after all they are paying for it."

John Lawton, Chief Executive, Natural Environment Research Council, said:

"I welcome this review which will look at what we know, what we don't know and what we can agree on. Science is an important part of the GM debate, but it's not the only issue that society needs to consider - there are many other aspects to it. We need to ensure that we get the right science in the right place to help provide independent advice for this thorny issue."

Professor Chris Lamb, Director, John Innes Centre, said:

"I welcome this process as an opportunity for careful and thorough discussion about what modern plant science and, in particular, GM as a new breeding tool, can contribute to the economic and environmental sustainability of UK and world agriculture, food safety and security and the development of new "green industries".

Stephen Smith, Chairman of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC), said:

"We welcome the Government's determination to stimulate open and balanced debate on the GM issue, for too long the dialogue has relied on "sound bites not sound science". A rigorous, evidence based evaluation of the science together with thorough economic assessment will provide reliable information to enable the "grass roots public" to contribute fully in the debate process."

Professor Ian Crute, Director of Rothamsted Research, said:

"Coherent presentation of the science behind the production and exploitation of GM crops has been sadly lacking from the moment they first entered the public consciousness. The selective advocacy of politically motivated anti-GM pressure groups working through a scare-mongering media has consciously created a mystifying fog of misinformation embracing, without consideration, such disparate scientific fields as mammalian toxicology, molecular genetics and invertebrate ecology.

"Unlike their opponents, serious scientists have been reticent to pronounce in areas outside their specialism and, not surprisingly, have largely failed to present effective arguments substantiating the benefits of GM crops. But now there is no excuse; scientists and other interested parties are being provided with the opportunity to engage in rational debate and dispassionate analysis of the facts. I expect Professor King‚s GM science review panel to be authoritative. Nevertheless, its success will be measured by the clarity with which it can differentiate, for the layperson, substantiated scientific fact from mere opinion and speculation."

Professor Derek Burke, Chairman of the British Government's Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes from 1989 to 1997, said:

"Foods derived by a process using genetic modification first appeared on the shelves of UK supermarkets in 1994, and since then a very large number of North Americans have eaten such foods with no demonstrable harmful effect. As the OECD Conference said in 2002, "Many consumers eat GM food. No significant effects have yet been detected on human health." That is still true; we have therefore an excellent baseline from which to conduct the debate. " For further information please contact Fiona Fox on 020 7670 2981 (ffox@ri.ac.uk)
 
The Science Media Centre is an independent venture working to promote the voices, stories and views of the scientific community to the news media when science is in the headlines. The Science Media Centre is housed within the Royal Institution but independent from it. Over 20 sponsors , including scientific institutions, companies and individuals, fund the Centre with donations capped at 5% of the running costs to preserve its independence. The team at the Centre is guided by a Science Advisory Panel and a Board . Please e-mail the Science Media Centre with your comments on our service.

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3. What the science review involves

GM food safety

This section of the science review considers the status of our current scientific knowledge on GM food safety. The issues are wide-ranging. A few examples are listed which have been debated over recent years by scientists engaged in GM research, and these are listed here to help prime the review. It also provides background information on the regulatory regime that exists to protect human health.

How is the safety of GM foods currently assessed?

All GM foods to be marketed in the EU are subject to a safety assessment under the EC Novel Food Regulation 258/97, before they are permitted to enter the food chain.

In the UK the Government obtains advice on the safety of GM foods from an independent committee of experts, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes http://www.food.gov.uk/science/ouradvisors/novelfood/.  All applications to market GM foods are also reviewed by equivalent authorities in all other EU Member States before approval is given.

The safety of GM foods is assessed on a case-by-case basis using the concept of substantial equivalence. This concept is not a safety assessment in itself; rather, it is a way of structuring the comparison of a new food with its conventional counterpart to identify any differences, intended or unintended. These differences then become the focus of the rigorous evaluation, to ensure that the GM food is at least as safe as its conventional counterpart.

Regulatory authorities around the world use this safety assessment approach. It has been extensively reviewed by organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on foods derived from biotechnology, entitled 'Safety aspects of genetically modified foods of plant origin'‚ June 2000). More recently the Codex Task Force on Foods derived from Biotechnology has agreed guidelines for the safety assessment of foods derived from GM Plants. This is available on the Codex website at http://www.codexalimentarius.net

The safety assessment is based on a comparative approach. This starts with a comparision between the GM food and its conventional counterpart identifying similarities and differences to aid the identification of potential safety and nutritional issues. The safety assessment includes evaluation of:

* The genetic modification event, including a history of the host organism being modified, and the organisms from which the inserted genetic information is derived, as well as a detailed genetic characterisation of the modified organism;
* The composition (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) of the food;
* Any effects of the novel gene products, including potential toxicity and allergenicity;
* Possible unintended secondary effects; and
* Potential intakes and dietary impact.

The end result of the assessment is a conclusion as to whether the GM food is as safe as its conventional counterpart.

If you would like to join in on the debate please go to guidelines

Public meetings are planned on the effect of GMOs on GM Food safety so please keep an eye on the public meetings page of our website.

Key Issues

* New techniques for detecting very fine differences between transgenic and the parental or recipient plants are becoming available (e.g. proteomics). These could be very valuable in detecting unintentional harmful interactions. However, it does pose the question how would such data be used in a safety assessment?
* How precise is this technology? For some, the technique of genetic modification is considered to be intrinsically unsafe. They claim that the methods for inserting DNA into organisms are imprecise and it is impossible to predict how the genes will behave in new genetic backgrounds under all environmental conditions. Others feel that the technology is very precise and predictable when compared with conventional breeding where many thousands of genes can be introduced during hybridisation.  Where does consensus lie on this issue?

Gene Flow and Detection

This section of the science review considers the status of our current knowledge on the movement of genes between organisms (known as gene flow), methods for gene detection, and means of controlling gene flow. In the context of genetically modified organisms, gene flow is important for risk assessment. For GM crops it is also relevant to the terms on which conventional, organic and GM agricultures might co-exist in future, because some farmers and consumers may want to avoid an incidental GM presence in their crops or food, or have a limit on the amount of GM presence.

The issues are wide-ranging. A few examples are listed which have been debated over recent years by scientists engaged in GM research, and these are mentioned here to help prime the review. We hope that scientists working in areas outside GM will make contributions that might offer insights.

The extent to which transgenes move from the genetically modified organisms to other organisms in the environment has important implications for determining the scope of risk assessments. For example, if transgene escape to wild relatives is possible, the impact of this is included in environmental risk assessments.

Co-existence is not purely a scientific issue, but the science on gene transfer between plants can help to clarify important questions - in what circumstances, by what mechanisms and to what extent will gene transfer occur?  Science can also inform the consideration of possible measures to limit GM transfer.

An example of gene flow between crops is cross-pollination.  If a field of GM maize is grown alongside a field of non-GM maize, pollen from the former is likely to fertilise the latter, resulting in a GM presence.  The distance between compatible crops influences the degree of cross-pollination, and separation distances are a known mechanism for maintaining genetic purity and are used in the seed production industry.

Other pathways for gene flow are Œvolunteers‚ ˆ plants that grow from seed spilt by one crop into a following crop ˆ and GM impurities in crop seed.  GM and non-GM material may also become mixed after crops have been harvested ˆ in storage or further down the production chain.

Gene flow from GM crops is therefore an obstacle to the co-existence of discrete agricultural systems (conventional farming, organic farming, and GM agriculture). It raises a supply chain problem because of a need for seed segregation, a spatial problem because hybridisation frequency is a function of separation distance, and a temporal problem because volunteers (remnants from previous crops) can become reservoirs for gene exchange after the original crop has been harvested.   Knowledge of the identity of the GMO is also necessary for the regulatory bodies that control the release of GMOs.  On a global scale, detection and identification of non-approved GM products pose a number of technical challenges.

Key issues

* Natural barriers to hybridisation are widespread amongst organisms, but how effective are these barriers? How good is our understanding of the mechanisms of cross-pollination?
* In nature, how important and prevalent is horizontal gene transfer: the transfer of genes between unrelated organisms e.g. between plants and bacteria and do GM sequences make this more likely to occur?
* If modified genes transfer to wild relatives, will they perpetuate or be lost?
* What do we know about the spread of natural genes between conventional crops, feral populations and wild relatives on a regional scale and does this offer a rational basis for predicting transgenic gene flow?
* Where cross-pollination is possible between crops, are separation distances effective in containing genes? Can we quantify this and with what level of confidence?
* Is crop rotation a useful way of reducing gene cycling between crops, wild relatives and feral populations?
* Could future developments in the design of GM crops prevent modified gene flow?
* What are the technical limits for reliably detecting modified genes in supply chains and what approaches might be used to trace them cost effectively? Could GM seeds for example be designed so that they are visible to the untrained eye?
* How do we detect imports of unapproved GM seeds?

If you would like to join in on the debate please go to guidelines

Public meetings are planned on gene flow and detection so please keep an eye on the public meetings page of our website.

Environmental Impact of GM Crops
 
This section of the science review considers the status of our current knowledge about how GM plants behave in the environment. It endeavours to identify what we know, what we do not know and whether the ecological tools available can fill in identified knowledge gaps. It also seeks to identify approaches to minimising risks from hitherto unidentified risks. The issues are wide-ranging. A few examples are listed which have been debated by scientists over recent years engaged in GM research, and these are mentioned to help prime the review. We hope that scientists working in areas outside GM will make contributions that might offer insights.

The experience of invasive species provides a warning as to how damaging the introduction of new organisms can be to the environment and the impetus to try and predict how new organisms, in this case genetically modified ones, will behave before they are released. Rhododendrons (introduced to the United Kingdom) provide a good example of an introduced plant, which has escaped from gardens, and become a serious problem in many semi-natural areas of United Kingdom where it has out-competed and displaced other plants. Can we predict what makes a plant invasive?

Organisms live in communities and interact with one another. For example, a genetically modified plant growing in a field will, during the course of a growing season, come in contact with a myriad of organisms both above and below ground. There can be direct, indirect, immediate and delayed interactions. In the face of this how can predictions be made as to how genetically modified plants will behave in the environment when released?

It has been suggested that a complete environmental audit of all these environmental interactions to assess the impact of genetically modified organisms is needed before they are released. Is this a realistic proposition? Is it necessary? Can one simply assume that interaction between, for example, oilseed rape and its environment are the norm and use this as the basis for focussing the assessment on the effect of the GM trait that has been introduced into the recipient plant? If we accept this approach - focusing the risk assessments on identifying novel interactions arising from the inserted transgene - how do we identify the relevant ecological interactions?

Identifying relevant ecological interactions is similar to the issues raised at another level of organisation - evaluating how a transgene in a new genetic background will behave through its interaction with other resident genes. Is a complete metabolic audit required to come to meaningful conclusions in this situation? Molecular tools to describe in fine detail the composition of organisms are under development and can detect very small differences between wild type and GM organism (see section on food safety). A key question is how such data would be used in safety assessments. By analogy, what tools do ecologists have to determine how GM plants will behave in the environment?

Some GM crops may beneficial to wildlife. They may more efficient utilisation of nutrients and result in reduced inputs of fertilisers, or require lower applications of pest, fungal and weed control agents (insecticides, fungicides, herbicides). If a GMO seemed to offer both environmental risks and benefits can science help us weigh one against the other? If you are interested in this aspect of the science review, you are encouraged to visit the economics component of the GM dialogue being undertaken by the Strategy Unit which has been asked to carry out a study into the overall costs and benefits associated with the growing of GM crops, including their effect on conventional and organic farming interests. Their website can be found at:
http://www.strategy.gov.uk/2002/gm/summ.shtml

Key issues

* What is environmental harm and how do we measure it?
* What is biodiversity?
* How do we measure soil biodiversity?
* Not all change is detrimental, so when is a change in biodiversity harmful and when is it beneficial?
* What are the appropriate base lines for comparing GM crops?
* Non-target and indirect effects. How can we evaluate these? Is ecology too complex to do this?
* Insect and disease-resistant crops lead to the rapid development of resistant insects and diseases. Will GM traits encourage this?
* What makes a plant invasive?  Will GM traits encourage this?
* What experiments have already been done on the behaviour of GM crops in the environment?
* What approaches can be used to provide a link between the short-term ecological issues and the long-term evolutionary implications?
* Where there is uncertainty, what contribution can GM plant design, monitoring or agronomic practices make to minimise this?
* In some countries GM agriculture is commonplace. What scientific studies have been done to monitor the impact of GM agriculture on the environment in these countries and are these studies relevant to the United Kingdom?
* What sorts of effects on the environment are irreversible? Do we have examples from current agricultural systems?
*  How can delayed environmental effects be detected? Are there relevant approaches used in other areas of environmental science?
* Can we be optimistic that the relevant experiments to fill identified knowledge gaps can be constructed, or is the natural world so complex and chaotic that we can have little security in predicting how genetically modified organisms will behave in the environment?

Future developments
 
 This section of the science review considers future developments in the science of genetic modification ˆ the traits that might be introduced, the organisms that might be modified and the methodological advances that could simplify risk assessment or the regulation of this technology. What are the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and what are the time scales? Can GM crops be developed which have significant health advantages for our human populations, whether in the UK or overseas?  If you are interested in this aspect of the science review, you are encouraged to visit the economics component of the GM dialogue at:
http://www.strategy.gov.uk/2002/gm/summ.shtml
If you would like to join in on the debate please go to guidelines

Public meetings are planned to discuss future developments so please keep an eye on the public meetings page of our website.

The Regulatory Process
 
This section of the science review considers the scientific issues arising form the risk assessment process that is central to the regulation of the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms to the environment. The issues are wide-ranging. A few examples are listed which have been debated by scientists over recent years engaged in GM regulation, and these are mentioned to help prime the review. We hope that scientists working in areas outside GM will make contributions that might offer insights. It also provides background information on the regulatory regime that exists to protect human health and the environment from the release of genetically modified organisms.

How is environmental safety currently assessed?

The release and marketing of GMOs into the environment is regulated by Directive 2001/18.(http://biotech.jrc.it/.)(http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2002/20022443.htm).
The aim of this legislation is to protect human health and the
environment from the release of GMOs, and to achieve this objective each GMO is subjected to a detailed science-based risk assessment. Risk assessment involves first identifying the potential hazards associated with the release, and then estimating the likelihood of those hazards occurring and the consequences. This relies on background scientific knowledge (for example, on issues like gene flow, and the factors that determine whether species are invasive together with specific information about the GMO under consideration that is usually supplied by the applicant.

In the UK, all of this information is evaluated and weighed by the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/acre/index.htm an independent, expert scientific committee. On this basis, the committee advise whether there are any significant risks associated with the GMO release. Further details of the regulatory system can be found on the following websites: www.scotland.gov.uk/gm; http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/index.htm

Key issues

* Is the risk assessment process sufficiently robust to achieve the goal of protecting human health and the environment? Some would argue that a basic weakness in the process is that there may be gaps in scientific understanding, or the scientific community may not have reached a consensus on a particular issue. How big a problem is this and can it be dealt with during the risk assessment?
* Of particular concern to some are the difficulties of assigning hazards during the risk assessment process ˆ is it possible to be certain that all potential hazards have been identified?
* It is also argued that the risk assessment process cannot take into account long-term effects of GMOs unless it is supported by long-term studies. What approaches can be used to address this problem?

If you would like to join in on the debate please go to guidelines

Public meetings are planned on the regulatory process so please keep an eye on the public meetings page of our website.

***

4. Membership of Science Review Panel is as follows:

Member Position

Professor John Gray
Department of Plant Scientists, University of Cambridge

Professor Peter Young
Professor of Molecular Ecology, Department of Biology, University of York

Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison
Department of Biology, University of Leicester

Professor Dianna Bowles
Department of Biology, University of York

Professor Michael Wilson FRSE
Chief Executive, Horticulture Research International

Professor Chris Leaver FRS Head
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford

Professor Mike Gale FRS
Director, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich

Professor Bernard Silverman FRS
Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bristol

Professor Mick Crawley
 FRS Imperial College, Silkwood Park, Berkshire

Professor Mike Gasson
Food Research Institute

Professor William Sutherland
University of East Anglia

Dr Andrew Cockburn
Monsanto, Trumpington, Cambridge

Dr Simon Bright
Syngenta, Jeallots Hill International Research Centre

Professor Carlo Leifert
Tesco Centre for Organic Agriculture, Northumberland.

Dr Andrew Stirling
Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex

Revd Professor Michael Reiss
Institute of Education, University of London

Ms Julie Hill
Deputy Chair AEBC

Professor Jules Pretty
Director of Centre for Environment and Society, University of Essex

Professor Alan Gray
Director, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,

Professor Janet Bainbridge
Director Science and Technology, University of Teeside

Professor B Rima
Medical and Biological Centre, Queens University, Belfast

Dr Chitra Bharucha
Chair of Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs

Dr Mark Avery
Director of conservation, RSPB, Bedfordshire

Dr Brian Johnson
Head of Agricultural technologies, English Nature, Somerset

Professor Philip Dale
John Innes Centre, Norwich

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