LONDON — The UK could be left behind in the race to develop new treatments for diseases if pressure groups succeed in winning a ban on the use of genetically modified animals in research, according to the Royal Society.

In a press statement released on 10 June, the society warned the views of the scientific community are in danger of being drowned out by protest groups, which are lobbying the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission to reject the use of genetically modified (GM) animals. The commission, an advisory body that reports to the UK government, is due to publish a report on GM technology later in the summer.

The press release is timed to flag up the issue ahead of a public meeting on the use of GM animals at the Royal Society in London on 12 June. The society's vice president Professor Patrick Bateson said it's vital...

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