After a year-long deliberation, New Zealand's Royal Commission on Genetic Modification has proposed that field trials of genetically modified crops should go ahead. The wide-ranging report has been long anticipated and has inevitably split the various interest groups that had lobbied for an outcome favourable in their eyes.

Environmental groups such as Greenpeace and the Green Party were disappointed in their hopes that the report would lay the groundwork for an end to GM research in favour of more wholehearted commitment to organic farming. However, the study flatly turned down calls that the country should be freed of all GM materials, instead noting it was important to exploit opportunities offered by scientific advances to create prosperity.

Despite the accompanying note of caution - the report said regulators should act with care to limit and manage risks - Green politicians have been vocal in their disappointment and have even threatened to withdraw their support, which keeps the ruling Labour-Alliance coalition in government.

The report was commissioned by the New Zealand government at a cst of NZ$5.6m (US$2.3m) and attracted over 100,000 submissions from individuals and interest groups. It is the largest report commissioned into the subject by any nation.

The full report is available for download here.