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Genetically modified crops 'very low' risk

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LONDON, Jul 21, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A new British study indicates people who eat existing genetically modified crops and foods face a "very low" risk to their health. said the independent review of more than 600 scientific papers was commissioned by the British government to assist in determining whether to end a three-year moratorium on the commercial growing of genetically modified crops.

The report, published Monday, admits gaps in scientific knowledge and highlights crucial areas requiring further research, specifically concerning possible allergic effects of genetically modified crops, their impact on soil ecology and farmland biodiversity, and the consequences of any "escape" of genes from such crops to conventional ones.

But NewScientist said the report also stresses that existing uncertainties should not be allowed to hold back scientific advances. Researchers said, "We cannot know everything and if we were paralyzed by gaps in knowledge, we would never get anywhere new."

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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