QHow can you be sure that GMO foods won't affect human health long-term?

How can you be sure that GMO foods won't affect human health long-term?

AExpert Answer

GM foods have a long, safe track record (17 years in the marketplace). From their introduction in 1996 until now, scientists have found, through repeated and extensive testing, that GM foods are no more risky than comparable non-GM foods, nor do they differ in nutritional value. 

 

Currently approved GM crops developed through specific genetic additions or subtractions are as safe as conventional and organic crops developed via random genetic shuffling.  Most people do not realize that plant breeders have been randomly altering and admixing plant genomes for centuries.  Techniques using chemicals and radiation to break plant DNA and induce mutations have been used to develop many conventional and organic crops. Whether scientists use traditional approaches or genetic engineering, their goal is to develop crops with new and agriculturally useful traits. Humans have been changing plant genomes for generations – we just have new, more precise tools. 

 

Regulatory and food-safety focus should be on the resulting trait(s), not on the specific modification or plant breeding process by which the genetic changes were made. Because they have different traits, GM foods are carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For example, Arctic apples are non-browning GM fruits that have been developed by “turning off” a gene, rather than by adding any genes to the apple genome. Whether a trait occurs naturally, is chemically or radiation induced or is purposely incorporated via genetic engineering, inherent risks are the same. 

 

Given that we’ve been genetically modifying plants for millennia, using one approach or another, we should frame this question in terms of relative risks: How “sure” can we expect to be when it comes to long-term health impacts of GMO foods?  As with most things in life (except death and taxes, as the saying goes), 100 percent certainty is not possible or reasonable to require. However, safe use of GM foods since 1996, coupled with our knowledge of human and plant physiology, points to long-term safe use of genetic engineering as a plant breeding tool set in agriculture.

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
Answer:
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
Answer:
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
Answer: