September 16, 2013.
1Department of Applied Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy and
2Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies (MiPAAF), Rome, Italy
Address for correspondence:
Alessandro Nicolia, Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 101, 230 53 Alnarp, Sweden. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The technology to produce genetically engineered (GE) plants is celebrating its 30th anniversary and one of the major achievements has been the development of GE crops. The safety of GE crops is crucial for their adoption and has been the object of intense research work often ignored in the public debate. We have reviewed the scientific literature on GE crop safety during the last 10 years, built a classified and manageable list of scientific papers, and analyzed the distribution and composition of the published literature. We selected original research papers, reviews, relevant opinions and reports addressing all the major issues that emerged in the debate on GE crops, trying to catch the scientific consensus that has matured since GE plants became widely cultivated worldwide. The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of GE crops; however, the debate is still intense. An improvement in the efficacy of scientific communication could have a significant impact on the future of agricultural GE. Our collection of scientific records is available to researchers, communicators and teachers at all levels to help create an informed, balanced public perception on the important issue of GE use in agriculture.