The UK should hold back on making a decision on whether or not to permit the commercial growing of genetically modified crops until more is known about the technology, a new report has said.

The major research report, compiled by academics at Newcastle University after six weeks of debate and analysis by two independent 'jury' panels, said there too little was known about the future implications of growing GM crops, reported Reuters.

The UK government has said it will probably make a decision later this year on whether or not to allow the commercial growing of GM crops.

"We believe that the implications of GM technology are not yet fully understood and have not been adequately shared with the public," jury member Helen Colclough said.

"The jury felt that because of this, we could not justify an unqualified green light to GM crops being grown in the UK," she was quoted as saying by Reuters.  

"The Peoples' Report on GM Crops...highlights the jurors' concerns on issues including the impact of GM crops on farming and the environment, food safety and potential health effects, as well as the government's handling of the debate," said the UK's Consumers' Association, which is one of the bodies behind the report.

The research was also part-funded by Anglo-Dutch food and consumer products giant Unilever, food retailer Cooperative Group and environmental lobby group Greenpeace.