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Is GMO healthy for humans and do they use GMO in animals to? If so why?

A:Expert Answer

To answer your question, foods made from GM crops are as healthy as their non-GM counterparts. In this response, registered dietician, Connie Diekman, explains:


“…the Food and Drug Administration has set forth guidelines related to the use of GMOs, and in those documents they reference the science that indicates food developed through biotechnology are digested in the same manner as other foods and therefore provide the same nutrition, or in some cases more nutrition (if the goal of the biotechnology was to enhance nutrient content). The science also indicates that these foods are safe for consumption and that they are not contributors to increased allergies.”


As Mary Mertz, who also farms GM crops, points out in this response, every reputable leading health organization recognizes GM crops “to be as safe and nutritious as foods produced in any other way.”


GMOs are also safe. Many consumers are led to believe that GMOs can cause cancer, autism, gluten intolerance and other illnesses. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Every leading health organization in the world stands behind the safety of GMOs. Extensive and continuous studies on GMOs are being conducted to ensure their ongoing safety for consumption. Click here to find thousands of studies on the safety of GMOs. Click here to find hundreds of independent studies.


In this response, Laura Privalle, Global Head Regulatory Field Study Coordination at Bayer, explains the long term research of GMOs on humans.


“There is a wonderful paper published in the Journal of Animal Science in 2015 that estimates that 102,732,168,000 chickens, turkeys, beef cattle, dairy cows, and hogs were produced between 2000 and 2011. GMOs, first introduced in 1996, were so rapidly adopted that greater than 90% of the corn, soy, canola and cotton crops are GMO. As a result, these animals have been fed GMOs across many generations with no harm. Humans have also been consuming these products since that time with no negative impact…Please read a previous response to a question regarding the effects of GMOs on human health here.”


In this response from Alison Van Eanennaam, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology Cooperative Extension Specialist at the University of California Davis, explains that animals do digest GM crops, but they are consumed by animals the same way as conventional crops.


“Nutrients in meat, milk and eggs from livestock fed genetically engineered feeds have been found to be the same as the nutrients from livestock fed conventional feeds. The metabolic processes involved in digestion, absorption and the use of feed proteins by livestock species make it very unlikely for a protein of any plant gene to be found intact in food of animal origin, and none have been detected…For more information, see this article on genetic engineering and animal feed.”


You can find more information about GM foods and health in similar responses here, here and here. This resource also explains the health and safety of GMOs.

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