QDo GMO crops that have been engineered to resist herbicides, result in foods that contain either the herbicides themselves, or byproducts of the plants' metabolism of herbicides? If yes, can these herbicides interact in negative ways with human (or other

Do GMO crops that have been engineered to resist herbicides, result in foods that contain either the herbicides themselves, or byproducts of the plants' metabolism of herbicides? If yes, can these herbicides interact in negative ways with human (or other animal) gut microorganisms?

AExpert Answer

Food safety is an important part of the assessments that researchers conduct on herbicides. For your first question regarding herbicide residues, you might find it useful to look at a previous response on GMO Answers that addresses that question: http://gmoanswers.com/ask/if-roundup-safe-human-consumption-trace-amounts-food-then-it-safe-drink-it-if-not-where-line. Also, actual data on pesticide residues in the U.S. food supply are regularly collected by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The 2012 Annual Summary once again confirms that pesticide residues on foods are at levels below the tolerances established by the EPA and do not pose a safety concern. For more information, please visit the USDA AMS website.

 

Regarding your second question, the role of gut microbes in maintaining health is currently a hot topic in science and in the media. There is a lot of work being done in this area, and there is good evidence for a role of gut microbiota in some clinical diseases.

 

Recently, the German BfR, the scientific agency of the Federal Republic of Germany that is responsible for preparing expert reports and opinions on food, reported that it finalized a reevaluation of glyphosate, which stated, “A research project initiated by BfR and performed by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover investigated the influence of a glyphosate containing herbicide on microbial metabolism and communities in ruminants. The results of this study are summarized in the draft suggesting that there is no negative impact on the microflora in the rumen. In particular, there was no indication that Clostridium bacteria might multiply under the influence of glyphosate.”

 

One critical factor in this study is that it uses a well-recognized technique that uses a mixed population of organisms under conditions designed to more closely simulate the complex matrix of feed and microbes than pure cultures grown in purified media. Previous studies have used pure cultures with purified media that don’t account for synergy in metabolism for mixed populations and may make them more susceptible to pH changes.

Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More
Posted on August 15, 2017
No! However, poor nutrition coupled with highly processed foods and a lack of education regarding healthy eating is bad for our kids. As a mother and farmer, I believe the best way to keep my family safe and healthy is to make sure they eat a balanced diet and make good food choices daily. Fresh, healthy ingredients and minimally processed foods that are low in sugar, salt, calories and cholesterol provide kids with the best opportunity for a healthy diet. Agricultural biotechnology... Read More
Answer:

Explore More Topics