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Can the human body tell the difference between gmo and nongmo foods i.e. are they processed differently in our bodies?

Submitted by: Maxie10


Expert response from Laura Privalle, Ph.D.

Global Head Regulatory Field Study Coordination, BASF

Thursday, 12/03/2015 10:00

No, the human body cannot tell the difference between foods containing GMOs and non-GMO foods. They are not processed differently in our bodies. 


A GMO has a newly introduced gene that produces a protein that the plant did not previously produce (or a slightly modified version of a protein the plant normally produces). The human body handles all proteins – GMO or non-GMO – the same way regardless of their source, whether that source of protein came from meat, nuts, plants, fish, etc.  They are all digested into amino acids the same way, which are then absorbed and used by the body to make its own proteins. The body doesn’t care if the protein started as a GMO or non-GMO – it uses it and absorbs it the exact same way.


With respect to the other components that are present in GMO crops, confirmation that they are present in comparable or like amounts to non-modified crops must be demonstrated as a key part of the safety assessment of GM crops prior to approval for commercialization or before going to market.