Scientific Literature influencing the Scientific Consensus on GMOs

Scientific Literature influencing the Scientific Consensus on GMOs

What is some of the Scientific Literature that has Formed the Scientific Consensus on GMOs?

Written by Knigel Holmes
Photo credit: Joanne Cheung | CC

Database of published studies

Biofortified: GENERA

Review Papers

Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations (2014)
An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research (2013)
Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review (2011)
Impact of genetically engineered crops on farm sustainability in the United States (2010)] (book)

Executive summary available

A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2010)
Safety of genetically engineered foods (2004)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Health and environmental impacts of transgenic crops

Currently available transgenic crops and foods derived from them have been judged safe to eat and the methods used to test their safety have been deemed appropriate. These conclusions represent the consensus of the scientific evidence surveyed by the ICSU (2003) and they are consistent with the views of the World Health Organization (WHO, 2002). These foods have been assessed for increased risks to human health by several national regulatory authorities (inter alia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, the United Kingdom and the United States) using their national food safety procedures (ICSU). To date no verifiable untoward toxic or nutritionally deleterious effects resulting from the consumption of foods derived from genetically modified crops have been discovered anywhere in the world (GM Science Review Panel). Many millions of people have consumed foods derived from GM plants – mainly maize, soybean and oilseed rape – without any observed adverse effects (ICSU).

International Council for Science (ICSU)New Genetics, Food and Agriculture: Scientific Discoveries – Societal Dilemmas (2003)

“Currently available genetically modified foods are safe to eat. Food safety assessments by national regulatory agencies in several countries have deemed currently available GM foods to be as safe to eat as their conventional counterparts and suitable for human consumption. This view is shared by several intergovernmental agencies, including the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission on food safety, which has 162 member countries, the European Commission (EC), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Further, there is no evidence of any ill effects from the consumption of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. Since GM crops were first cultivated commercially in 1995, many millions of meals have been made with GM ingredients and consumed by people in several countries, with no demonstrated adverse effects. Although currently available GM foods are considered safe to eat, this does not guarantee that no risks will be encountered as more foods are developed with novel characteristics. Ongoing evaluation of emerging products is required to ensure that new foods coming to market are safe for consumers. Food safety evaluation must be undertaken on a case-by-case basis. The extent of the risk evaluation should be proportionate to the possible risks involved with particular foods. There are also benefits to human health coming from GM foods. These may be either direct benefits arising from the content of certain foods or indirect benefits, which arise from changing agricultural practices.”

14 Italian scientific societies produced a Food Safety Consensus Document (PDF)

“GMOs on the market today, having successfully passed all the tests and procedures necessary to authorization, are to be considered, on the basis of current knowledge, to be safe for use in human and animal foods.”

German Union of Academies of Science and Humanities (Union der Deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften) Commission Green Biotechnology: Are there health hazards for the consumer from eating genetically modified food?

“Food derived from GM plants approved in the EU and the US poses no risks greater than those from “conventional” food. On the contrary, in some cases food from GM plants appears to be superior with respect to health.”

Lists of References

The Scientific Consensus

Secondary Discussions

Contributions from Commentors

From Robert Wager:

From Marc Brazeau: