CaseyOH's picture
do gmos cause cancer

A:Expert Answer

This is an extremely important question. Numerous questions similar to this and related topics have been submitted to GMO Answers, including questions about reports claiming that glyphosate causes breast cancer and about a Séralini study (now retracted) claiming GMOs caused cancer in rats, among others.

Dr. Kevin Folta, at the University of Florida, answered this exact question. His response is below. 

“The short answer is no, there is absolutely zero reputable evidence that GMO foods cause cancer.
 

“Cancer is a name applied to a spectrum of diseases where cells proliferate abnormally. There is no way that the subtle and well-understood alterations of a plant’s genes can cause cancer. There is nothing about the Bt protein (used in insect resistance, also in organic pest control), the EPSPS enzyme (which confers herbicide resistance simply by substituting for the native enzyme in the plant) or the process itself that would induce such cellular changes in human cells that would lead to cancer. It is just not plausible. 

“Some of the confusion comes from reports where the Bt protein or glyphosate (the herbicide used on some GM crops) is applied to cell lines in a petri dish, and the cells show changes associated with stress and perhaps abnormal proliferation. However, cells in a dish do not behave like cells in the body. Through years of careful evaluation, there is no reliable evidence that GM foods cause the same changes in a living organism.

“Quite to the contrary, future plants may be engineered to produce nutrients that fight/prevent cancer or even eliminate compounds that increase cancer risk. One such product is close to commercialization. Potatoes produce a small amount of acrylamide, a potential carcinogen, when heated to high temperatures. A potato has been engineered not to produce that compound, and that leads to safer food.”

More information is available here.

Comments

SolsticeFarmer's picture

There are multiple studies that do in fact suggest GMOs cause cancer. The Seralini study was only retracted under threat of lawsuit....not because they produced bad data. Double blind studies are virtually impossible to prove that anything causes cancer....which doesn't imply things don't cause cancer, just that corporate legalese can strongarm good science into silence. In an Austrailian pig feed study, nearly all the intestinal linings of GMO fed pigs were significantly inflammed....which is a cancer pre-cursor (not to mention the 25%+ size increase in uterine growth and associated fertility issues). Ironic that in a lab cells show abnormal proliferation from Bt (i.e. cancer), but the 'expert' says they DEFINITELY don't do that in the body....at least not as often thanks to the fact we have an immune system that can fight back against this garbage. Bt is an endocrine disruptor....another cancer precursor....and pesticides are carcinogenic period....more cancer precursors. How silly to listen to how plants will now be engineered to produce cancer fighting compounds.....healthy organic plants already contain them and act as cancer preventers without any expensive engineering and associated environmental degradation and health problems. I am a 10 yr organic farmer vet, and master degree holding natural healthcare expert.

Community Manager's picture

Hi SolsticeFarmer, thanks for participating in the discussion! You mention several studies that have been addressed on GMO Answers. We invite you to read responses to popular related studies from independent experts at the links below. If you have any specific questions about these studies, or the health and safety aspects of GMOs, please submit them at http://www.gmoanswers.com/ask.

Dr. Alan McHughen, biotechnology specialist at the University of California, Riverside responses to the Seralini study here: http://gmoanswers.com/ask/have-you-reviewed-study-showing-gmos-caused-ca.... Dr. Kevin Folta, professor and chair of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida provides discussion on the Mezzomo Bt study at http://gmoanswers.com/ask/what-does-research-conclude-about-bioaccumulat.... Dr. Cami Ryan, research associate at the University of Saskatchewan comments on the Carman pig feeding study at http://gmoanswers.com/ask/can-you-address-effects-shown-genetically-modi....