Assessment of the safety of food derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, 718 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Food and Chemical Toxicology (Impact Factor: 2.9). 08/2004; 42(7):1047-88. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2004.02.019
Source: PubMed


This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of the modified crop and the introduced trait, and assessing potential unintended effects from the genetic modification. The proposed approach to safety assessment starts with the comparison of the new GM crop with a traditional counterpart that is generally accepted as safe based on a history of human food use (the concept of substantial equivalence). This case-focused approach ensures that foods derived from GM crops that have passed this extensive test-regime are as safe and nutritious as currently consumed plant-derived foods. The approach is suitable for current and future GM crops with more complex modifications. First, the paper reviews test methods developed for the risk assessment of chemicals, including food additives and pesticides, discussing which of these methods are suitable for the assessment of recombinant proteins and whole foods. Second, the paper presents a systematic approach to combine test methods for the safety assessment of foods derived from a specific GM crop. Third, the paper provides an overview on developments in this area that may prove of use in the safety assessment of GM crops, and recommendations for research priorities. It is concluded that the combination of existing test methods provides a sound test-regime to assess the safety of GM crops. Advances in our understanding of molecular biology, biochemistry, and nutrition may in future allow further improvement of test methods that will over time render the safety assessment of foods even more effective and informative.

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Article: Assessment of the safety of food derived from genetically modified (GM) crops

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    • "Moreover, the direct effects of Cry toxins on mammalian cells have not yet been fully studied. The possible health risks of consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is under controversial debate worldwide (Konig et al., 2004; Seralini et al., 2009). Doubts regarding the safety of GMOs are encouraged because of the presence of conflicts of interest with some of these studies, particularly with the study conducted under the responsibility of the Monsanto Company regarding the transgenic corn MON863 that was finally approved in 2005 (Seralini et al., 2007). "
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    • "uous amino acids . The research by using six and seven contiguous amino acids revealed identity of known allergens with Mo - CBP 3 isoforms . However , with the criterion of eight contiguous amino acids no identity could be observed . The approach using six contiguous amino acids is often criticized for generating high rate of false positives ( K€ onig et al . , 2004 ) . Many random results that show no risk of cross - reaction is observed when a short sequence of amino acids is used ( Hileman et al . , 2002 ) . A research with eight contig - uous amino acids is probably more effective in detection of immunogenic epitopes ( ILSI HESI , 2001 ; Hileman et al . , 2002 ) . In addition , the peptides fou"
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    • "However, many countries are still not in for it, or have not committed to testing this new method, which could be a possible solution to this ill. Ethical issues still surround the usage of genetically modified foods in most areas of the world, despite outstanding evidence of its safety [28, 29]. "
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