It adds: "Scientists are developing new plant breeding techniques that may be classified as GM in the future. Scottish researchers and agricultural challenges, such as potato blight and tree diseases, have informed that scientific development. Will they now be prevented from making further contributions in future?"
Citing the example of possible reduced fungicide use on potatoes, it says: "There are many other needs for the development of disease-resistant, pest-resistant and climate resilient crops, where a GM method has a contribution to make."
It calls "urgently" for a meeting with the minister to put forward these concerns.
Signatories include the British Society of Plant Breeders, the Eden Project, the John Innes Centre, the NFU, the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), Rothamsted Research and the UK Plant Science Federation.
Though NFU Scotland was not among the signatories, its chief executive Scott Walker said: "We are disappointed that the Scottish Government has decided that no GM crops should ever be grown in Scotland. Other countries are embracing and developing the biotechnology around GM, where appropriate, and given Scotland’s world-renowned research base, we should have been open to doing the same here in Scotland. "
He added: "What we wanted was an open debate that allowed decisions to be taken from an informed positon reflecting current technology. That door appears to have been closed by the Cabinet Secretary's announcement."