Line 4Line 4 Copyic/close/grey600play_circle_outline - material

Laura Privalle, Ph.D.

Global Head Regulatory Field Study Coordination, BASF

Expert Bio

Laura Privalle has worked in the agricultural biotechnology industry since 1984 after receiving her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin. Her dissertation was on nitrogen fixation in blue-green algae. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke University where she worked on nitrite reductase, she joined CIBA-GEIGY’s brand new biotechnology unit. This subsequently became Novartis and then Syngenta. She has been working in Regulatory Science since 1992 and was deeply involved in producing the safety assessment package for the first transgenic maize product that received regulatory approval in the United States. In 2003 she joined BASF as head of Regulatory Science where she remained until 2013 when she joined Bayer. She has served as vice-chair and then chair of the Protein Allergenicity Technical Committee for the Health and Environmental Science Institute. She currently serves as the Global Head Regulatory Field Study Coordination at BASF. She also serves on the Education Enhancement Grants panel for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. In addition, she is a member of the Faculty of 1000 in the Agriculture and Biotechnology Section.

Studies, Articles and Answers

Filter by

Showing 10 out of 11 results

Question

Q: Carrots DNA apparantly contains a gene that that causes carrots to express orange pigmentation. Why don't we turn oeange when we eat and digest carrots? Also, some sweetcorn has genes that enable it to produce BT pesticide. There have been suggestions

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Oct 10, 2013

A: The orange color in carrots is caused by beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A. [This is found in the food itself. Our own genes do not take up the function from the carrot gene]. We eat carrots not only because they taste good but because they are a good source of thisnutritious compound.  Over consumption could in fact lead to your skin taking on an orange tinge.   Humans should generally never consume too much of any one thing.  Moderation is always best.Regarding your second question. This is not true for several reasons. DNA is present in all plant and animal c [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: Does chronic contact to xenobiotic compounds in the human digestive tract carry health risks? Do GMOs contain any molecules that do not naturally occur in nature?

By Community Manager - Dec 12, 2014

A: This is not a simple question to answer, since it is pretty much the basis of the entire field of toxicology. To start, though, let me summarize my response to your question.   The composition of GMOs is tested extensively to determine if they are equivalent to the composition of non-GMOs (and therefore equally safe);  GMOs may contain xenobiotic chemicals but are no more likely to contain them than non-GMOs; The presence of xenobiotic chemicals does not mean that they are dangerous, because we are routinely exposed to them.   Allow me to break my down answer into more [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Nov 07, 2014

A: To answer the first question, we must consider the definition of “xenobiotic compounds.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a xenobiotic is “a chemical compound (such as a drug, pesticide, or carcinogen) that is foreign to a living organism.” By this definition, xenobiotics that are carcinogens cause cancer, for example. So, yes, chronic contact to some xenobiotic compounds can carry health risks. In answer to your second question: neither non-GM plants nor GM plants contain molecules that do not naturally occur in nature. However, any plant (conventionally, organically or gene [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: Can the human body tell the difference between gmo and nongmo foods i.e. are they processed differently in our bodies?

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Mar 12, 2015

A: No, the human body cannot tell the difference between foods containing GMOs and non-GMO foods. They are not processed differently in our bodies.    A GMO has a newly introduced gene that produces a protein that the plant did not previously produce (or a slightly modified version of a protein the plant normally produces). The human body handles all proteins – GMO or non-GMO – the same way regardless of their source, whether that source of protein came from meat, nuts, plants, fish, etc.  They are all digested into amino acids the same way, which are then absorbed a [...]

Health & Safety

Question

Q: If they have the same nutrients as naural food what else do gmos have in them? What else will get absorbed into our system? You claim that bug resistant genes wont hurt us but our bodies will still be absorbing this. If its not beneficial what is it? I do

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Oct 30, 2015

A: Thanks for your question.  I thought I would share some information specifically on your point regarding bug resistant genes.      In the case of bug resistant genes, the plant has a new gene introduced into its DNA.  This additional piece of DNA is just like the DNA the plant already has, but gives the plant additional information that lets it protect itself from the bug. This new information allows the plant to make a protein that it didn’t know how to make before. This protein allows the plant to be protected from specific insect pests.  All prote [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Oct 30, 2015

A: Thanks for your question.  I thought I would share some information specifically on your point regarding bug resistant genes.      In the case of bug resistant genes, the plant has a new gene introduced into its DNA.  This additional piece of DNA is just like the DNA the plant already has, but gives the plant additional information that lets it protect itself from the bug. This new information allows the plant to make a protein that it didn’t know how to make before. This protein allows the plant to be protected from specific insect pests.  All prote [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: If they have the same nutrients as naural food what else do gmos have in them? What else will get absorbed into our system? You claim that bug resistant genes wont hurt us but our bodies will still be absorbing this. If its not beneficial what is it? I do

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Oct 30, 2015

A: Thanks for your question.  I thought I would share some information specifically on your point regarding bug resistant genes.      In the case of bug resistant genes, the plant has a new gene introduced into its DNA.  This additional piece of DNA is just like the DNA the plant already has, but gives the plant additional information that lets it protect itself from the bug. This new information allows the plant to make a protein that it didn’t know how to make before. This protein allows the plant to be protected from specific insect pests.  All prote [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Oct 30, 2015

A: Thanks for your question.  I thought I would share some information specifically on your point regarding bug resistant genes.      In the case of bug resistant genes, the plant has a new gene introduced into its DNA.  This additional piece of DNA is just like the DNA the plant already has, but gives the plant additional information that lets it protect itself from the bug. This new information allows the plant to make a protein that it didn’t know how to make before. This protein allows the plant to be protected from specific insect pests.  All prote [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: are nuts genetically modified

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Jul 31, 2015

A: There are no genetically engineered nuts on the market. A full list of all crops approved in the United States and around the globe can be found on the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) database of GM crop events and traits approved for commercialization and planting.    [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Jul 31, 2015

A: There are no genetically engineered nuts on the market. A full list of all crops approved in the United States and around the globe can be found on the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) database of GM crop events and traits approved for commercialization and planting.    [...]

Other

Question

Q: are nuts genetically modified

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Jul 31, 2015

A: There are no genetically engineered nuts on the market. A full list of all crops approved in the United States and around the globe can be found on the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) database of GM crop events and traits approved for commercialization and planting.    [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Jul 31, 2015

A: There are no genetically engineered nuts on the market. A full list of all crops approved in the United States and around the globe can be found on the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) database of GM crop events and traits approved for commercialization and planting.    [...]

Other

Question

Q: How do you know GMOs will not get people sick If you do not have any long term research on the impact of GMOs on human beings to support that?

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Feb 29, 2016

A: Prior to commercialization every GMO product is subjected to an extensive safety assessment which is reviewed by regulatory bodies all around the world.  These products are the most studied foods ever consumed.  The safety of the genes inserted, the proteins produced, the crop and any consumed fraction must be shown to be safe for humans, animals and the environment.    There is a wonderful paper published in the Journal of Animal Science in 2015 that estimates that 102,732,168,000 chickens, turkeys, beef cattle, dairy cows, and hogs were produced between 2000 and 2011.& [...]

Answered By Community Manager - Jan 20, 2016

A: You might be surprised to learn that long-term research studies have been conducted on GM crops. These tests are performed by both industry experts and independent organizations to make sure that GM crops are safe for humans and the environment. Major scientific and regulatory bodies around the world have stated that the GM crops currently available for sale are safe.   Read about some long term research studies that have taken place, as well as how GMOs are constantly being studied here.   Denneal Jamison-McClung, biotechnology program associate director at the University [...]

Answered By Community Manager - Jan 20, 2016

A: You might be surprised to learn that long-term research studies have been conducted on GM crops. These tests are performed by both industry experts and independent organizations to make sure that GM crops are safe for humans and the environment. Major scientific and regulatory bodies around the world have stated that the GM crops currently available for sale are safe.   Read about some long term research studies that have taken place, as well as how GMOs are constantly being studied here.   Denneal Jamison-McClung, biotechnology program associate director at the University [...]

GMO Basics Health & Safety

Question

Q: What can gmo foods do to your body?

Answered By Community Manager - Mar 11, 2016

A: Foods derived from GM Crops provide the same nutrition as those from non-GM crops which mean that they provide key nutrients, proteins, and vitamins that your body needs. Testing and FDA review has confirmed this.   Hundreds of studies have confirmed that GMO foods pose no health risks and are not the results of any diseases. Famers have been growing crops from GM seeds for over 30 years and there has been no single documented instance of harm to human health resulting from genetic modification.   Explore the basics surrounding GMOs and Health here.   Further, we encoura [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Feb 29, 2016

A: GMOs refer to crops to which a single or several genes have been added.  These genes encode proteins, which are essential for human health and development.  In the safety assessment conducted prior to approvals, these proteins are confirmed to be safe for humans, animals and the environment.  The crops themselves are shown to be as safe as conventional crops.  Foods prepared from GMO crops do nothing other than provide the same nourishment that foods prepared from non-GMO crops provide.   Please read a previous response to a question regarding the effects of GMOs on [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Feb 29, 2016

A: GMOs refer to crops to which a single or several genes have been added.  These genes encode proteins, which are essential for human health and development.  In the safety assessment conducted prior to approvals, these proteins are confirmed to be safe for humans, animals and the environment.  The crops themselves are shown to be as safe as conventional crops.  Foods prepared from GMO crops do nothing other than provide the same nourishment that foods prepared from non-GMO crops provide.   Please read a previous response to a question regarding the effects of GMOs on [...]

Labeling

Question

Q: What can gmo foods do to your body?

Answered By Community Manager - Mar 11, 2016

A: Foods derived from GM Crops provide the same nutrition as those from non-GM crops which mean that they provide key nutrients, proteins, and vitamins that your body needs. Testing and FDA review has confirmed this.   Hundreds of studies have confirmed that GMO foods pose no health risks and are not the results of any diseases. Famers have been growing crops from GM seeds for over 30 years and there has been no single documented instance of harm to human health resulting from genetic modification.   Explore the basics surrounding GMOs and Health here.   Further, we encoura [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Feb 29, 2016

A: GMOs refer to crops to which a single or several genes have been added.  These genes encode proteins, which are essential for human health and development.  In the safety assessment conducted prior to approvals, these proteins are confirmed to be safe for humans, animals and the environment.  The crops themselves are shown to be as safe as conventional crops.  Foods prepared from GMO crops do nothing other than provide the same nourishment that foods prepared from non-GMO crops provide.   Please read a previous response to a question regarding the effects of GMOs on [...]

Answered By Laura Privalle, Ph.D. - Feb 29, 2016

A: GMOs refer to crops to which a single or several genes have been added.  These genes encode proteins, which are essential for human health and development.  In the safety assessment conducted prior to approvals, these proteins are confirmed to be safe for humans, animals and the environment.  The crops themselves are shown to be as safe as conventional crops.  Foods prepared from GMO crops do nothing other than provide the same nourishment that foods prepared from non-GMO crops provide.   Please read a previous response to a question regarding the effects of GMOs on [...]

Labeling