QAny response on the UCLA study that shows in order to increase wheat crop yields the amount of gluten produced would increase by as much as 4X the normal amount. This empirically suggests a cause and effect relationship between the large increase in glute

Any response on the UCLA study that shows in order to increase wheat crop yields the amount of gluten produced would increase by as much as 4X the normal amount. This empirically suggests a cause and effect relationship between the large increase in gluten intolerance the country has seen and the use of GMO wheat crops, wouldn't you agree?

AExpert Answer

We reached out to Bob Goldberg in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at UCLA. Included below is his response to this question:

 

“There is no genetically engineered wheat grown anywhere in the world. Wheat was the first crop to be domesticated, ~10,000 years ago, by our ancestors. Gluten is a protein that is naturally found in wheat seeds and is used by the wheat plant when it germinates as a source of carbon and nitrogen for the growing seedling.  Dwarf wheat is not a GMO, as there is no genetically engineered wheat on the market or grown for animal or human consumption. It is true that some people are gluten intolerant―having an allergy to the gluten storage protein―similar to a peanut allergy, which is also due to a seed storage protein different from gluten. However, gluten intolerance has been known for a long time and is due to a natural protein, not a genetically engineered one. And there is little scientific evidence that the presence of gluten in wheat has caused an increase in obesity, because humans have been eating wheat seed byproducts (e.g., bread) for thousands of years. The increase in obesity can be attributed to many complex factors―one of which is an increase in calorie consumption regardless of source.”

Posted on January 31, 2018
Thank you for your question. There are various aspects of your question. I assume your question refers to the use of Agrobacterium rhizogenes by scientists to intentionally transfer genes from the bacterium to plants. Infection and DNA transfer from this bacterium occurs in nature all the time to cause disease. Such transformed plants are not classified as GMOs since transfer occurred naturally. If this is done by scientists then it would be classified as a GMO. Rules and... Read More
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Posted on March 1, 2018
I’m a Monsanto scientist who has more than 20 years of experience with genetic modification of plants. I will try to answer your question, even though I don’t ever do experiments on animals, certainly not on humans, of course! Can humans be genetically modified…but a much bigger question is should humans be genetically modified? There are two ways to think about genetic modification of humans (or any animal). One way is modification of somatic cells, and the other is the... Read More
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Posted on May 10, 2017
The simple answer is that 20+ years of composition assessments of GMO crops have demonstrated that crop composition is not appreciably affected by the GM process (1). In addition, data collected through that time have indicated that general factors such as the growth environment can contribute to notable variation in component levels (2). Plant agglutinins (or lectins) and amylase inhibitors are examples of anti-nutritional compounds that may be present in crops. The relevance of such a... Read More