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

ABSTRACT 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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Available from: André H Penninks, Aug 16, 2015
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    • "유전자변형 작물은 작물 생산에 필요한 노동력과 농기계 사 용 절감에 따른 경제적인 이익뿐만 아니라(Owen, 2000), 기 후 변화 등의 농업환경 변화에 지속가능한 식량 생산을 가능 케 한다(Brookes and Barfoot, 2006). 그러나 외래 유전자 도입에 의한 독성 및 알레르기 물질 생산 가능성(Konig et al., 2004 "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Genetically modified(GM) trigonal cactus(Hylocereus trigonus Saff.) contained a coat protein gene of cactus virus X (CVX), which conferred resistance to the virus, phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (bar) gene, which conferred herbicide resistance, and a cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter (CaMV 35S). This study was conducted to evaluate the possible impact of GM trigonal cactus cultivation on the soil microbial community. METHODS AND RESULTS: Microorganisms were isolated from the rhizosphere of GM and non-GM trigonal cactus cultivation soils. The total numbers of bacteria, and actinomycete in the rhizosphere soils cultivated GM and non-GM trigonal cactus were similar to each other, and there was no significant difference. Dominant bacterial phyla in the rhizosphere soils cultivated with GM and non-GM trigonal cactus were Proteobacteria, Uncultured archaeon, and Uncultured bacterium. The denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles show a similar patterns, significant difference was not observed in each other. DNA was isolated from soil cultivated GM and non-GM trigonal cactus, we analyzed the persistence of the inserted gene by PCR. Amplification of the inserted genes was not observed in the soil DNA, which was collected after harvest. CONCLUSION(S): This result suggests that the GM trigonal cactus cultivation does not change significantly the microbial community.
    06/2013; 32(2). DOI:10.5338/KJEA.2013.32.2.148
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    • "These so-called off-target effects would be identified as compositional or agronomic/ phenotypic changes that are outside the normal range of variability for these characteristics in the plant species, and once identified must be further assessed for biological significance to food and feed safety. Conventional breeding methods and agronomic/phenotypic selection processes that are also used in the event selection process during the development of biotech crops are stringent tools that help to eliminate undesirable unintended effects resulting from the transformation process (Cellini et al., 2004; Cockburn, 2002; Konig et al., 2004). Furthermore, compositional analysis of food and feed would likely reveal any unintended effects relevant to safety or nutrition of the biotech crop (Hollingworth et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Gene expression can be modulated in plants to produce desired traits through agricultural biotechnology. Currently, biotechnology-derived crops are compared to their conventional counterparts, with safety assessments conducted on the genetic modification and the intended and unintended differences. This review proposes that this comparative safety assessment paradigm is appropriate for plants modified to express mediators of RNA-mediated gene regulation, including RNA interference (RNAi), a gene suppression mechanism that naturally occurs in plants and animals. The molecular mediators of RNAi, including long double-stranded RNAs (dsRNA), small interfering RNAs (siRNA), and microRNAs (miRNA), occur naturally in foods; therefore, there is an extensive history of safe consumption. Systemic exposure following consumption of plants containing dsRNAs that mediate RNAi is limited in higher organisms by extensive degradation of ingested nucleic acids and by biological barriers to uptake and efficacy of exogenous nucleic acids. A number of mammalian RNAi studies support the concept that a large margin of safety will exist for any small fraction of RNAs that might be absorbed following consumption of foods from biotechnology-derived plants that employ RNA-mediated gene regulation. Food and feed derived from these crops utilizing RNA-based mechanisms is therefore expected to be as safe as food and feed derived through conventional plant breeding.
    Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 04/2013; 66(2). DOI:10.1016/j.yrtph.2013.03.008
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    • "transgenic plants raises concerns about their safety for human consumption (König et al. 2004). New tools are being developed with the goal of making GE technology more precise and more acceptable to the public. "
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    ABSTRACT: The utility and commercial potential of genetically engineered (GE) plants would benefit from the use of site-specific recombination systems that enable efficient excision of the marker genes used to identify transformants. Although wheat is one of the most important food crops in the world, GE varieties have yet to be put into commercial production. To develop the Bxb1 recombination system (derived from the Mycobacterium smegmati bacteriophage Bxb1) for site-specific marker gene removal in transgenic wheat, we used biolistics to introduce into the wheat genome a codon optimized Bxb1 recombinase gene (BxbNom) under the control of the maize ubiquitin-1 promoter (Ubi1). Recombinase activity was monitored using a GUSPlus reporter gene activation assay. BxbNom recombinase-mediated excision of an att site-flanked stuffer DNA fragment activated β-glucuronidase reporter activity in callus, endosperm, and leaves in transient assays. The system also detected activity in leaves and endosperm of progeny of multiple independent transgenic wheat lines stably expressing BxbNom. Our results demonstrate that the Bxb1 recombinase is heritable in transgenic wheat plants and performs site-specific excision, providing a useful tool for generating marker-free GE plants. Establishment of wheat lines capable of efficiently excising unneeded marker genes removes one potential barrier to commercial deployment of GE wheat.
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