Biotech crops do not produce new allergens or toxins

food pinwheel

The following is an editorial summary.

One of the most persistent fears regarding genetically engineered crops is that they will somehow introduce new allergens or toxins to our foods. According to immunologist Kevin Bonham, “This statement is at best wildly misleading and at worse an all-out fabrication.”

Bonham goes on to dissect this claim perpetrated by groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists which claim to be in favor of spreading scientific literacy. He breaks down, step-by-step, how a gene produces a protein which may then produce an allergic reaction … and whether or not the techniques being used to create biotech crops are likely to produce novel allergic reactions.

Related article:  Corn: Debating the importance of corn in feeding the planet

In short: they’re not.

Read the full story here: Allergic to Science–Proteins and Allergens in Our Genetically Engineered Food

Additional Resources:

  • GM crops could bring allergy relief in the future,” European Food Information Council
    Raises the point that crops could, in theory, be genetically modified to help reduce allergic reactions. There’s nothing inherently allergy-inducing about genetically modified food.
  • Genetic Engineering and the Allergy Issue,” Plant Physiology
    A scientific paper noting the advent of the genetic engineering-and-allergy fear and laying out a plan for how to evaluate it.
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