Qare genetically modified organisms safe for human consumption?

are genetically modified organisms safe for human consumption?

AExpert Answer

An overwhelming number of worldwide experts, including World Health Organization (WHO), American Dietetic Association and European Commission, agree that GMOs are safe for human consumption. In advance of a GMO product being commercialized, the innovation provider voluntarily submits to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a dossier of compiled studies to be evaluated to determine the safety of the product as a food or food ingredient for consumers in the U.S. marketplace.

 

The FDA has well-established scientific procedures to evaluate the safety of GMOs with an expectation on developers of genetically engineered (GE) food to analyze the composition of new crop varieties. This is to ensure that any changes compared to the food’s conventionally derived counterpart are appropriately considered and addressed before marketing such foods. The FDA’s review and analysis includes consideration as to whether any newly introduced GMO may be allergenic or toxic and whether levels of important nutrients or anti-nutrients have been changed in a way that is important to food safety or nutritional value of that product.

 

Food growers, manufacturers and distributors all have a role in ensuring that food products marketed in the United States are safe. To help developers of GE food comply with their obligations under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act and FDA regulations, the agency encourages them to participate in a voluntary consultation process with the FDA prior to commercial distribution. The goal of the voluntary premarket consultation process is to ensure that any safety or other regulatory issues associated with food from the new plant variety are resolved prior to commercial distribution.

 

It is important to note that the FD&C Act places a legal duty on developers, manufacturers, and distributors to ensure that the foods they market to consumers are safe and comply with all legal requirements.

 

The fact that participation in the process is voluntary should not mislead individuals to believe that the process does not provide for a rigorous food safety evaluation. It is not uncommon for the FDA to request additional data and information or clarification about the data and information submitted by the developer. This iterative process makes for a rigorous safety evaluation. The FDA considers a consultation to be complete only after all safety and other legal issues have been resolved.

Posted on May 6, 2018
The UPC (Universal Product Code) is a barcode (which has numbers beneath it) which identifies the product and the manufacturer. I think you may be thinking of the PLU (Price Look Up) code which is the 4 or 5 digit number on produce used to link a price with an item. The PLU code is a voluntary program that assigns numbers to produce items, this helps cashiers identify the correct price for a produce item. Growers/Packers can use the number "9" prefix to this 4-digit numeric code to... Read More
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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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