The genetically modified crop controversies in Britain between 1997 and 2004 involved tensions surrounding the role of science in policy. The author of the paper was a member of the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission, a novel government advisory body created in 2000, which played a central role in negotiating new policy frameworks. The commission was also a key influence in the creation and execution of the three-pronged official ‘GM dialogue’ in 2002 and 2003. New understandings of ‘uncertainty’, both scientific and social, emerged as a result. The outcomes have relevance for the future political handling of other technological fields, including human genetics.

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