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Bruce M. Chassy

Professor Emeritus of Food Safety and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Expert Bio

Bruce M. Chassy is a Professor Emeritus of Food Safety and Nutritional Sciences from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He served as the Assistant Dean for Science Communications in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and was Head of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois from 1989 to 2000.  Dr. Chassy completed his undergraduate training in Chemistry at San Diego State University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Cornell University.  He was a research chemist at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) from 1968-1989.  Dr. Chassy was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Spain in 1994.

Dr. Chassy’s research focused on the characterization and development of methods for the genetic manipulation of microorganisms used in food and dairy fermentations.  His research experiences with the development of genetically modified microorganisms that are used in foods led him to an interest in food safety and the safety evaluation of "biotech foods.” He maintains a website that explores the safety of GM foods at http://academicsreview.org.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: If a cow eats GMO corn or soy is there any way to tell or is there any difference in that animal's meat or milk as opposed to an animal that consumed only organic feed?

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Aug 30, 2013

A: No! There is no way to detect whether an animal has been fed GM feed because there is no content from any part of the GM feed in the flesh, milk or eggs.  The GM feed is digested and assimilated in exactly the same way as any other feed.  There is in fact no meaningful measurable difference between GM and convention feeds. Actually that's not exactly true.  It turns out that conventional and organic feeds can have more of the mycotoxin fumonisin in them than does insect resistant GM feed.  Specifically, studies show that insect protected corn can have less fumonisin. [...]

Health & Safety

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Q: If this website's moderators are seeking "experts" to answer questions about the safety of GMO foods, why not consider the input of Doctor Jeffrey Smith? He and colleagues have done extensive research on the effects GMO foods on livestock and humans. His

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Sep 23, 2013

A: It is good that the questioner recognizes the importance of relying on the testimony of experts when trying to understand complex scientific issues. Jeff Smith is, however, not a doctor or researcher and he has never conducted a scientific study or published a peer-reviewed scientific paper.  Please read his Biography at his website (http://www.responsibletechnology.org/resources/media-kit/jeffrey-m-smith-bio) to confirm this.  He is an energetic, articulate and persuasive layperson who has made himself into one of the leading outspoken opponents of GM crops -- but he is n [...]

GMOs Globally Health & Safety How GMOs Are Made

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Q: What do you think about the movie, Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives? http://geneticroulettemovie.com/

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Oct 14, 2013

A: I understand that claims made by Jeffrey Smith, the movie’s director and author the self-published book, Genetic Roulette, are alarming and could cause great concern. It’s important to understand Mr. Smith’s background. He is not a doctor or researcher and he has never conducted a scientific study or published a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Please read his Biography at his website (http://www.responsibletechnology.org/resources/media-kit/jeffrey-m-smith-bio) to confirm this. He is an energetic, articulate and persuasive layperson who has made himself into one of the leading outspoken oppon [...]

GMOs & Farmers How GMOs Are Made Pesticides

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Q: What I find most troubling about health-related debates surrounding GMOs is the claim by biotech companies that there are no documented health risks associated with transgenics. That may be true... for now. But human health must be understood on a signifi

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Oct 16, 2013

A: This question is probably on the mind of many people.  It's important to recognize that there is an unstated assumption underlying this question. The question assumes that transgenics are inherently different in some way that might prompt us to wonder about their long-term effects. Are GM crops really different?  Obviously, the answer to that depends on how one defines a difference. Almost none of our crops grown today exists as such in nature; very few even resemble the wild ancestral plants from which they were domesticated. Virtually all our crop plants have been genetically [...]

Environment GMOs & Farmers Health & Safety