The following is an editorial summary.
The Atlantic’s article, “The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Food,” caused a storm by taking a paper suggesting that RNA from plants harm animals and leaping to the conclusion that GM plant RNA could hold untold dangers for humanity.
Skeptical science writer Emily Willingham did some digging in the wake of the article. In her words:
The consensus, both on and off the record, was that these molecules identified in the blood were probably animal RNAs that just looked a lot like the plant versions. Most of the scientists with whom I spoke said that it was highly unlikely that a molecule as touchy and unstable as RNA would make it past the molecular horrors of the digestive system to loiter around threateningly in our bloodstream and organs.
Read the full story here: Alleged Danger of GMOs Not Looking Very Real
- The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods,” The Atlantic
— The article by Ari Levaux which sparked the RNA panic.
- “The Very Real Paranoia Over Genetically Modified Foods,” Slate
— Emily Willingham wrote an initial response to the above Atlantic piece earlier this month.
- Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA,” Cell Research
— The scientific paper which Ari Levaux used as the basis for his argument.