QDo GMOs Cause Cancer?-- Submitted as Part of GMO Answers' Top Consumer Questions Survey --

Do GMOs Cause Cancer? -- Submitted as Part of GMO Answers' Top Consumer Questions Survey --

AExpert Answer

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 to not produce that compound, and that leads to safer food.

Posted on May 14, 2018
A GMO plant can be made to produce different chemicals. At the initial level the products of added genes are proteins, but proteins can also function as enzymes i.e., they cause chemical reactions and these chemicals can affect growth. A bigger plant could be one that produces more tissue in a given time, or it could be one that is taller; these are different situations. More mass: For a plant to grow bigger it has to make better use of the available resources, such as light and CO2 for... Read More
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Posted on February 28, 2018
Some companies do voluntarily have statements that products have ingredients sourced from crops grown from genetically engineered seeds. Some examples are statements like, “Produced with genetic engineering” or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” that appear under the list of ingredients.  Read More
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Posted on July 30, 2018
Genetic engineering (GE) touches on the routine life of billions of people (but not everyone). Food, clothes, and medicine are commonly made with the help of genetically engineered organisms. Certain medicines, like insulin, could only be mass-produced this way. Fiber for clothes is made less expensive thanks to GE cotton plants. You also PROBABLY sometimes eat plants with a few engineered genes, depending on where you live. But genetic engineering isn’t just for making new or better... Read More
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