[Editor’s note: The following is part of a Society of Toxicology (SOT) issue statement approved the SOT Council November 2017.]
All plants used as human food or animal feed include varieties with marked genetic differences due to conventional breeding over hundreds to thousands of years or through intentional but undirected mutagenesis. These processes usually result in large-scale genomic changes in the resulting crops. Crop safety has been traditionally assured by plant breeders by examining the agronomic characters of the resulting crops and the testing of crop nutrients. However, new GE [genetically engineered] crops are tested and evaluated with much greater scrutiny.
…[Since 1995, when the first GE food crop was introduced,] there has been no verifiable evidence of the potential for adverse health effects. While this evidence supports the safety of these products to many in the scientific community, it has not satisfied the concerns of some scientists and many consumers. … Data from scientific studies have overwhelmingly demonstrated that foods obtained from GE crops are as safe and nutritious as foods obtained from non-GE (i.e., conventional) crops.
Discussions regarding the labeling of foods as containing “GMO” or “GE ingredients” are likely to continue due to consumer demand, but it is not relevant regarding food safety.
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