QAre GMOs are causing an increase in allergies? -- Submitted as Part of GMO Answers' Top Consumer Questions Survey --

Are GMOs are causing an increase in allergies? -- Submitted as Part of GMO Answers' Top Consumer Questions Survey --

AExpert Answer

No commercially available crops contain allergens that have been created by genetically engineering a seed/plant. And the rigorous testing process ensures that will never happen.


There are thousands of proteins in the diet, and only a small fraction of them cause allergies. With respect to GMOs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has specifically focused on allergy issues and requires companies to analyze the proteins they are using in the biotech process to determine if the proteins are allergenic. This entire process is well regulated and monitored and takes years to complete. The only documented case where an actual allergen was introduced into a plant by genetic engineering occurred during an experiment trying to improve the nutritional quality of the soybean by using a Brazil nut protein. The Brazil nut protein was in fact identified as an allergen in the new soybean, which prompted the researchers to halt the experiment, and this new soybean never entered the market.

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
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
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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