Genetically Modified Foods: Promises, Challenges and Safety Assessments
Applied Food Biotechnology,
Vol. 4 No. 4 (2017),
Background and Objective: Application of genetically modified organisms in the agriculture sector and food industry began since last years of 20th century. Since then this technology has become a central part of the broader public controversy about the advantages and safety of these products. This article has tried to review aspects of these types of organisms and foods.
Results and Conclusion: Genetically modified technology has potential to overcome agricultural problems, such as biotic and abiotic issues by enhancing pests and herbicides resistance, drought tolerance, fast ripening, and finally enhancing yield and nutritional quality. Besides these revolutionary advantages, during the last decades some potential human, animal and environmental risks have been taken in account for these organisms or foods. However, no scientific evidence exists adequately about their harmful human or animal effects, and also, some new scientific and management methodologies (new technologies and regulations) have been developed to mitigate the environmental risks. Some challenges such as pest adaptation are being solved by refuge technology, gene pyramiding and insertion of best-coupled primers through the known conditions reducing unintended outcomes including silencing, activation or rearrangement of non-target genome pieces. However, it does not mean that no harmful effect will happen in the future. Therefore, it is required that before release of any genetically modified crop, all requested risk assessments be performed, and then post release monitoring be done to follow the possible gene flow and prevent any potential disastrous contaminations to the food chain. Finally, it could be concluded that the safe usage of this technology, by considering all nationally and internationally accepted environmental and health safety assessment protocols, can help us to use advantages of this technology in agriculture, medicine and industry. However, more safety evaluations are being done frequently.
Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interests to declare.
- ▪ Environmental risks ▪ Genetically modified foods ▪ GMO advantages ▪ Health risks ▪ Risk assessment ▪ Safety concerns
How to Cite
Heinzer B. Codex Alimentarius and Genetically Modified Foods. 2008.
Organization WH. http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/; 2017.
Zhang C, Wohlhueter R, Zhang H. Genetically modified foods: A critical review of their promise and problems. Food Science and Human Wellness. 2016;3(5):116-23.
Bawa A, Anilakumar K. Genetically modified foods: safety, risks and public concerns—a review. Journal of food science and technology. 2013;50(6):1035-46.
Organization WH. Food, Genetically modified: http://www.who.int/topics/food_genetically_modified/en/; 2017.
Nations FaAOotU. GM food safety assessment tools for trainers. Italy2008.
Xu Y. Envirotyping for deciphering environmental impacts on crop plants. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 2016;129(4):653-73.
Chen S, Chen S, Liang L. Study on the safety of genetically modified food biotechnology based on the legal system of food safety. Journal of Biotech Research. 2016;7:42.
Moseley BE. Safety assessment and public concern for genetically modified food products: the European view. Toxicologic pathology. 2002;30(1):129-31.
Beker M, Boari P, Burachik M, Cuadrado V, Junco M, Lede S, et al. Development of a construct-based risk assessment framework for genetic engineered crops. Transgenic Research. 2016;25(5):597-607.
Kramer C, Brune P, McDonald J, Nesbitt M, Sauve A, Storck‐Weyhermueller S. Evolution of Risk Assessment Strategies for Food and Feed Uses of Stacked GM Events. Plant biotechnology journal. 2016.
Selb R, Wal JM, Moreno FJ, Lovik M, Mills C, Hoffmann-Sommergruber K, et al. Assessment of endogenous allergenicity of genetically modified plants exemplified by soybean – Where do we stand? Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2017;101:139-48.
Devos Y, Gaugitsch H, Gray AJ, Maltby L, Martin J, Pettis JS, et al. Advancing environmental risk assessment of regulated products under EFSA's remit. EFSA Journal. 2016;14(S1).
Layton R, Smith J, Macdonald P, Letchumanan R, Keese P, Lema M. Building better environmental risk assessments. Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology. 2015;3.
cleaning-house B. Living Modified Organism (LMO) Registry: https://bch.cbd.int/database/lmo-registry/; 2016.
Haslberger AG. Codex guidelines for GM foods include the analysis of unintended effects. Nature Biotechnology. 2003;21(7):739-41.
Hansen M. Genetic Engineering Is Not an Extension of Conventional Plant Breeding: How genetic engineering differs from conventional breeding, hybridization, wide crosses and horizontal gene transfer. Consumer Policy Institute/Consumer’s Union. 2000.
Andersson JO. Lateral gene transfer in eukaryotes. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 2005;62(11):1182-97.
Finkelstein PE. Genetically Modified Foods: A Brief Overview of the Risk Assessment Process. GM crops & food. 2016(just-accepted):00-
Barlow SM, Boobis AR, Bridges J, Cockburn A, Dekant W, Hepburn P, et al. The role of hazard-and risk-based approaches in ensuring food safety. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 2015;46(2):176-88.
Conko G, Kershen DL, Miller H, Parrott WA. A risk-based approach to the regulation of genetically engineered organisms. Nature biotechnology. 2016;34(5):493-503.
Gayen D, Paul S, Sarkar SN, Datta SK, Datta K. Comparative nutritional compositions and proteomics analysis of transgenic Xa21 rice seeds compared to conventional rice. Food chemistry. 2016;203:301-7.
Chow S, Norris JF, Benjamin G. Insight into the Genetically Modified Foods: From the Concerns of Safety to Food Development. 2016.
Devos Y, Naegeli H, Perry JN, Waigmann E. 90‐day rodent feeding studies on whole GM food/feed. EMBO reports. 2016:e201642739.
Emami K, Morris NJ, Cockell SJ, Golebiowska G, Shu Q-Y, Gatehouse AM. Changes in protein expression profiles between a low phytic acid rice (Oryza sativa L. Ssp. japonica) line and its parental line: a proteomic and bioinformatic approach. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2010;58(11):6912-22.
Zeland FSAN. Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Foods. 2007:1-22.
Taylor SL. Protein Allergenicity Assessment of Foods Produced Through Agricultural Biotechnology. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2002;99:112.
Yavari B, Sarami S, Shahgaldi S, Athari SS, Sharma A. If There Is Really a Notable Concern about Allergenicity of Genetically Modified Foods? Journal of Food Quality and Hazards Conrol. 2016;3(1):3-9.
FAO W. Evaluation of allergenicity of genetically modified foods: report of a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation on allergenicity of foods derived from biotechnology. FAO, Rome. 2001.
Clive J. Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2014. ISAAA Brief No. 49. ISAAA: Ithaca (NY). 2016.
Ibarrola Rivas M, Nonhebel S. Assessing changes in availability of land and water for food (1960–2050) An analysis linking food demand and available resources. Outlook on Agriculture. 2016;45(2):124-31.
Nations FaAOotU. World hunger falls to under 800 million, eradication is next goal http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/288229/icode/2017.
Aerni P. Agricultural Biotechnology and Public Attitudes: An Attempt to Explain the Mismatch between Experience and Protection. In: Ronald Ross Watson VRP, editor. Genetically Modified Organisms in Foods Production, Safety , Regulation and Public Health: Elsevier; 2015. p. 149-57.
Ge H, Goetz S, Gray R, Nolan J. Modeling the Optimal Strategies for Mitigating Genetically Modified (GM) Wheat Contamination Risks. Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, 2016.
Glass S, Fanzo J. Genetic modification technology for nutrition and improving diets: an ethical perspective. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 2017;44:46-51.
Herman EM. Genetically modified soybeans and food allergies. Journal of Experimental Botany. 2003;54(386):1317-9.
Alberts JF VZW, Gelderblom WCA. Biologically Based Methods for Control of Fumonisin-Producing Fusarium Species and Reduction of the Fumonisins. Front Microbiol. 2016;7:1-33.
Organization WH. Microbial pest control agent: Bacillus thuringiensis. 1999.
Agency USEP. Bacillus thuringiensis: Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED). US EPA Archive Document. 1998.
Kunert KJ. How effective and safe is Bt-maize in South Africa? South African Journal of Science. 2011;107(9-10):02-.
Wong AY-T, Chan AW-K. Genetically Modified Foods in China and the United States: A Primer of Regulation and Intellectual Property Protection. Food Science and Human Wellness. 2016.
Yaqoob A, Shahid AA, Samiullah TR, Rao AQ, Khan MAU, Tahir S, et al. Risk assessment of Bt crops on the non‐target plant‐associated insects and soil organisms. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2016;96(8):2613-9.
Kramarz P, De Vaufleury A, Gimbert F, Cortet J, Tabone E, Andersen MN, et al. Effects of Bt-maize material on the life cycle of the land snail Cantareus aspersus. Applied Soil Ecology. 2009;42(3):236-42.
Kouser S, Qaim M. Valuing financial, health, and environmental benefits of Bt cotton in Pakistan. Agricultural Economics. 2013;44(3):323-35.
Kouser S, Qaim M. Bt cotton, damage control, and optimal levels of pesticide use in Pakistan. Environment and Development Economics. 2014; 19(6):704-723.
Abedullah, Kouser S, Qaim M. 2015. Bt cotton, pesticide use, and environmental efficiency in Pakistan. Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2015; 66(1):66-86.
Kouser S, Abedullah, Qaim M. Bt cotton and employment effects for female agricultural laborers in Pakistan. New Biotechnology. 2017; 34:40-46.
Kouser S, Qaim M. Impact of Bt cotton on pesticide poisoning in smallholder agriculture: A panel data analysis. Ecological Economics. 2011; 70(11):2105–2113.
Qaim M, Kouser S, Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security. PLOS ONE. 2013. 8(6): e64879.
Mehboob-Ur-Rahman MZ, Yusuf Zafar, Zulfiqar Hayder, Amer Jamil, Akira Kikuchi, Kazuo N Watanabe. Mammalian Food Safety Risk Assessment of Transgenic Cotton Containing Cry1Ac Gene Conducted Independently in Pakistan. Medical Safety & Global Health. 2015;4(2):1-7.
Zaman M, Zafar Y, Hayder Z, Jamil A, Kikuchi A, Watanabe KN. Mammalian Food Safety Risk Assessment of Transgenic Cotton Containing Cry1Ac Gene Conducted Independently in Pakistan. Medical Safety & Global Health. 2015;2015.
Zhang Y, Rao R. Beyond ergosterol: linking pH to antifungal mechanisms. Virulence. 2010;1(6):551-4.
Bakan B, Melcion D, Richard-Molard D, Cahagnier B. Fungal growth and Fusarium mycotoxin content in isogenic traditional maize and genetically modified maize grown in France and Spain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2002;50(4):728-31.
H.D. B, W. G, P. S. Food Chemistry. 4th ed: Springer; 2009.
Cleaning-House B. Modified Organism ACS-BNØØ1-4 - InVigor™ canola: http://bch.cbd.int/database/record.shtml?documentid=14753; 2016.
Ajami M, Alimoradi M, Ardekani MA. Biotechnology: Two Decades of Experimentation with Genetically Modified Foods. Applied Food Biotechnology. 2016;3(4):228-35.
Tabashnik BE, Gassmann AJ, Crowder DW, Carrière Y. Insect resistance to Bt crops: evidence versus theory. NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY. 2008;26(2):199.
Levitsky E. Problem of genetically modified foods safety: a toxicologist’s view. Biotechnologia Acta. 2016;9(1).
Read D, Zealand EN. Use of antibiotic resistance marker genes in genetically modified organisms: ERMA New Zealand; 2000.
Benbrook CM. Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally. Environmental Sciences Europe. 2016;28(1):3.
Fernandez M, Zentner R, Basnyat P, Gehl D, Selles F, Huber D. Glyphosate associations with cereal diseases caused by Fusarium spp. in the Canadian Prairies. European Journal of Agronomy. 2009;3(31):133-43.
Nesic K, Ivanovic S, Nesic V. Fusarial toxins: secondary metabolites of Fusarium fungi. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Volume 228: Springer; 2014. p. 101-20.
(EFSA) EFSA. Conclusion on the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance glyphosate. EFSA Journal. 2015;13(11):1-107.
Nguyen DB, Rose MT, Rose TJ, Morris SG, Van Zwieten L. Impact of glyphosate on soil microbial biomass and respiration: A meta-analysis. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 2016;92:50-7.
Kitta K. Availability and utility of crop composition data. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2013;61(35):8304-11.
Authority EFS. Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/panels/gmo.
Kok EJ, Pedersen J, Onori R, Sowa S, Schauzu M, De Schrijver A, et al. Plants with stacked genetically modified events: to assess or not to assess? Trends in Biotechnology. 2014;32(2).
Council NR. Field testing genetically modified organisms: framework for decisions: National Academies Press; 1989.
- Abstract Viewed: 7841 times
- PDF Downloaded: 1307 times