Independent Expert

Bruce M. Chassy

Professor Emeritus of Food Safety and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bruce M. Chassy is a Professor Emeritus of Food Safety and Nutritional Sciences from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He served as the Assistant Dean for Science Communications in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and was Head of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois from 1989 to 2000.  Dr. Chassy completed his undergraduate training in Chemistry at San Diego State University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Cornell University.  He was a research chemist at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) from 1968-1989.  Dr. Chassy was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Spain in 1994.

Dr. Chassy’s research focused on the characterization and development of methods for the genetic manipulation of microorganisms used in food and dairy fermentations.  His research experiences with the development of genetically modified microorganisms that are used in foods led him to an interest in food safety and the safety evaluation of "biotech foods.” He maintains a website that explores the safety of GM foods at

From this Expert

Posted On: Sunday, 8/04/2013 12:54 pm
A: I understand that claims made by Jeffrey Smith, the movie’s director and author the self-published book, Genetic Roulette, are alarming and could cause great concern. It’s important to understand Mr. Smith’s background. He is not a doctor or researcher and he has never conducted a scientific study or published a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Please read his Biography at his website ( to confirm this. He is an... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 8/02/2013 12:04 pm
A: This question is probably on the mind of many people.  It's important to recognize that there is an unstated assumption underlying this question. The question assumes that transgenics are inherently different in some way that might prompt us to wonder about their long-term effects. Are GM crops really different?  Obviously, the answer to that depends on how one defines a difference. Almost none of our crops grown today exists as such in nature; very few even resemble the wild... Continue Reading
Posted On: Wednesday, 7/31/2013 12:49 am
A: The short answer to this question is no, there are no 30-plus year studies done on GM crops. The first plant transformation to produce a GM plant was reported in 1982. Before a GM plant can be approved by the USDA, its potential ecological impact must be fully evaluated. The question appears to be asking if full-spectrum ecological studies are done for every organism, and, by implication, every conceivable situation. It is simply impossible to test all organisms in all situations. Accordingly... Continue Reading


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