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What problems are GMOs causing?

what problems are GMOS causing?

Submitted by: Aidan Owens


Expert response from Community Manager

Moderator for

Wednesday, 04/04/2018 16:39

Thank you for your question. Similar questions have been answered by a variety of experts on our site.

Farmer Mary Mertz answered a similar question, “What are the problems with the seeds of GMOs.” She explains how this question can be answered in a variety of ways and also speaks to this topic firsthand, as she is a farmer herself.

“In my opinion, the biggest problem with the seeds is the amount of misinformation that is being circulated out there.  GMOs have a public image problem. The science-based reality proving GMOs to be safe and nutritious takes a backseat to the emotional propaganda meant to create skepticism in the mind of the consumer.”

Read her full response here.

Additionally, Rob Wager, M.Sc, a faculty member in the biology department at Vancouver Island University, has answered two similar questions. In his response to “what are some safety problems with GMOs?” he addresses many food safety issues, as well as incorporating an extensive amount of studies and reports on the topic. A snippet is included below, read the full response here.

“Every GM crop is extensively tested for food safety considerations before it is allowed to be commercialized.  The testing protocols are based on internationally agreed criteria (OECD, WHO). A good document that outlines the testing protocols is the Guidance for risk assessment of food and feed from genetically modified plants: EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).

The following areas of food safety are examined:

  • Principles of Risk Assessment (4 subcategories)
  • Molecular Characterization (2 subcategories), Comparative Assessment (5 subcategories)
  • Toxicological Assessment (5 subcategories)
  • Allergenicity Assessment (3 subcategories)
  • Nutritional Assessment (2 subcategories)
  • Exposure Assessment and Risk Characterization. 

When GM critics complain that the biotechnology companies do the safety testing they forget to say that which tests, how many tests, and with which controls are all dictated to the company. Only when all the dictated tests are done to exact standards and with acceptable outcomes does the company get approval to commercialize the GM crop. 

Crops from a variety of other breeding methods (most with far more DNA disruptions than GM crop breeding) are barely tested at all for any of the food safety considerations listed above.”

He also discusses the testing GE food goes through in his response to “what are two potential problems with genetically engineered foods?”  

Lastly Ray Dobert, biotech regulatory policy lead at Monsanto, addresses concerns about potential problems from GMOs in this response.

We hope this answers your question. If you have any other questions about GMOs or biotechnology, please ask!