Genetically modified crops can offer a range of environmental and health benefits, such as reduced usage of chemical pesticides, improved farm efficiency and crop yields, and an enhanced nutritional profile. Despite this, fears surrounding genetic modification have led to a lack of acceptance of these foods by many consumers, regulators, and governmental organizations. Dr Richard Goodman from the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, is helping to shift the narrative around genetically modified crops, through his extensive work evaluating their safety.
[A] key concern surrounding GE crops is the potential risk of the transferred gene leading to the production of an allergen in a food where it was not previously present. ‘Protecting people with food allergies against accidental exposure to allergens has become an important focus for food manufacturers and regulators responsible for all food safety,’ explains Dr Goodman.
Effective and scientifically sound premarket evaluation of GE foods is the most effective tool to protect the public. Dr Goodman, along with his team, has been developing assessment protocols to determine the safety of GE foods. Following criteria described by the food safety organization, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, AllergenOnline uses peer-reviewed scientific publications to evaluate amino acid sequences from proteins that are known or suspected allergens. The evidence is judged by an expert panel ….