Food Science and Technology Department


Department of Food Science and Technology: Faculty Publications

Document Type


Date of this Version



GM CROPS & FOOD 2024, VOL. 15, NO. 1, 40–50


Open access.


Since the first genetically engineered or modified crops or organisms (GMO) were approved for commercial production in 1995, no new GMO has been proven to be a hazard or cause harm to human consumers. These modifications have improved crop efficiency, reduced losses to insect pests, reduced losses to viral and microbial plant pathogens and improved drought tolerance. A few have focused on nutritional improvements producing beta carotene in Golden Rice. Regulators in the United States and countries signing the CODEX Alimentarius and Cartagena Biosafety agreements have evaluated human and animal food safety considering potential risks of allergenicity, toxicity, nutritional and anti-nutritional risks. They consider risks for non-target organisms and the environment. There are no cases where post-market surveillance has uncovered harm to consumers or the environment including potential transfer of DNA from the GMO to nontarget organisms. In fact, many GMOs have helped improve production, yield and reduced risks from chemical insecticides or fungicides. Yet there are generic calls to label foods containing any genetic modification as a GMO and refusing to allow GM events to be labeled as organic. Many African countries have accepted the Cartagena Protocol as a tool to keep GM events out of their countries while facing food insecurity. The rationale for those restrictions are not rational. Other issues related to genetic diversity, seed production and environmental safety must be addressed. What can be done to increase acceptance of safe and nutritious foods as the population increases, land for cultivation is reduced and energy costs soar?

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