GM foods – scientists unsure how to test safety

Standards toxicological tests do not work for genetically modified foods and the scientific community does not agree on any reliable way to test their safety, reports New Scientist.

Standard toxicological tests involved feeding laboratory animals with increasing doses of the product until a toxic effect is observed. With GM foods it is not proving viable to get an animal to eat enough of the product to give a valid test, without poisoning it with the nutrients contained in the food or changing its diet so much as to produce adverse health effects.

On the other hand, taking the altered genetic component and testing it in isolation is to ignore any of the effects it may have once it is in the plant. While this may show that the altered genetic component is safe on its own, it cannot prove that it is safe once inserted in a plant – and as yet there is no accepted method that can.

– See linked article for details.

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