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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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Showing 5 out of 15 results

Question

Q: Is there a comprehensive rebuttal of the book Genetic Roulette?

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Aug 11, 2014

A: I understand that claims made by Jeffrey Smith, the movie’s director and author of 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 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 no expert on the science.Despite the numerous cl [...]

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Aug 11, 2014

A: I understand that claims made by Jeffrey Smith, the movie’s director and author of 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 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 no expert on the science.Despite the numerous cl [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: Is there a comprehensive rebuttal of the book Genetic Roulette?

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Aug 11, 2014

A: I understand that claims made by Jeffrey Smith, the movie’s director and author of 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 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 no expert on the science.Despite the numerous cl [...]

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Aug 11, 2014

A: I understand that claims made by Jeffrey Smith, the movie’s director and author of 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 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 no expert on the science.Despite the numerous cl [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: Whats the longest study done on how GMOs affect the longevity and overall health to human beings?

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Mar 11, 2015

A: The first thing to point out is that almost no safety studies are done in humans.  It's unethical to expose a human to an untested product of any kind, but more importantly, humans are just plain lousy experimental animals.  We are genetically heterogeneous, we don't follow protocols well, we grow and reproduce slowly, experiments on humans would be very expensive, and as we age a high percentage of us develop one or more diseases of aging that would confound the results (i.e. various cancers, circulatory diseases, arthritis, diabetes, etc.).  Fortunately, scientists in [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: Can GM foods be sustainable forever? If so, what type of steps do we have to take to keep them sustainable?

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Apr 12, 2018

A: GMOs are crops - and like any other version of the same crop, where you grow them and how you grow them is far more important than whether they are GMOs. No known system of agriculture can promise that it is sustainable forever; much agricultural research is being devoted to improving the sustainability of agriculture. In this regard, it appears likely that using GM technologies may improve sustainability of a particular crop cultured in a specific manner and place. Other technologies and/or strategies will also be required to improve sustainability. Sadly, methods which advocates c [...]

GMO Basics

Question

Q: How many people have fallen sick from gm foods

Answered By Bruce M. Chassy - Mar 25, 2019

A: One word answer: zero.   In addition to Bruce Chassy’s response above, you might be interested in the following studies:   According to the National Academy of Sciences, there are no cause and effect relationships between genetically engineered (GE) food and human health. According to the American Medical Association, “there is no evidence that unique hazards exist either in the use of FDNA techniques or in the movement of genes between unrelated organisms. (Report 2 of the council on science and public health (A-12) labeling of bioengineered foods, 2012). [...]

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