Do GMOs Cause Allergies?

GMOs do not cause allergies and are not associated with any increase in allergies.

Lisa Katic, a Registered Dietitian and President of K Consulting, explains that, “No commercially available crops contain allergens that have been created by genetically engineering a seed/plant.  And the rigorous testing process ensures that will never happen.”

She also notes, “food allergies are mainly caused by eight major foods (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish) and account for about 90 percent of reported food allergies in the United States. First, it is important to note that only one of these eight major allergens listed above is a potential product of biotechnology, and that is soy. Of the remaining seven allergens listed, none is commercially available in genetically modified varieties.”

Key Facts

Key Fact

Before a GMO is created, the desired trait is screened against all known human allergens to confirm it does not introduce a new allergen.

Key Fact

Researchers look at over 1,950 genes to ensure quality and safety.

Key Fact

Food from GMO crops are as safe as foods from conventional, non-GMO, crops.

Unless a specific crop is modified to have enhanced nutritional content, food from GMO crops is the same nutritionally as food from non-GMO crops and is digested in the body same way.  Available foods from GMO crops are as safe as foods from conventional crops and the introduced protein(s) are tested to avoid introducing an allergen.  In the years that GMO crops have been commercially available in the United States, since 1996, there has not been a single documented instance of harm to human health resulting from genetic modification, including allergic reactions.

If a person is allergic to a non-GM plant, he or she will also be allergic to the plant’s GMO counterpart. For example, if a person is allergic to soy, then they will be allergic to GMO, non-GMO and organically produced soy. But, GMOs do not introduce any new allergens. In fact, researchers, academics and companies are working on new GMOs that have the potential to help people in this area.  For example, gluten free wheat that is digestible by patients with celiac disease.

 

How are GMOs tested for allergies?

Before a GMO is created, the desired trait is screened against all known human allergens to confirm it does not introduce a new allergen. Check out this infographic to learn how researchers review over 1,950 genes to ensure quality and safety.

gmo allergies
 

 

Infographics & Downloadables

SOCIAL TILE: Get to Know GMOs

SOCIAL TILE: The GMO Innovation Contest

SOCIAL TILE: MYTH vs. FACT: GMOs & Allergies

SOCIAL TILE: MYTH vs. FACT: GMOs’ Impact On Pollinators

MYTH vs. FACT: GMOs Are Nutritionally The Same As Conventional - Corn

SOCIAL TILE: GPS on GMOs - First Genetically Modified Plants

INFOGRAPHIC: The History of Genetic Modification in Crops

Scientific Studies

Articles

Millennial To Millennial: Understanding GMOs Is Like A Doctor’s Visit Read More
Rice-A-Ronald: The UC Davis Treat
ARTICLE: Going With the Grain: Pamela Ronald… Plant Biologist, Geneticist And Rice Savior Read More