Risk assessment of genetically modified crops for nutrition and health


AM Calderón de la Barca, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A. C., P.O. BOX 1735, Hermosillo 83000, Sonora, Mexico. E-mail: amc@ciad.mx, Phone: +52-662-289-24-00 ext. 288, Fax: +52-662-280-00-94.


The risk assessment of genetically modified (GM) crops for human nutrition and health has not been systematic. Evaluations for each GM crop or trait have been conducted using different feeding periods, animal models, and parameters. The most common result is that GM and conventional sources induce similar nutritional performance and growth in animals. However, adverse microscopic and molecular effects of some GM foods in different organs or tissues have been reported. Diversity among the methods and results of the risk assessments reflects the complexity of the subject. While there are currently no standardized methods to evaluate the safety of GM foods, attempts towards harmonization are on the way. More scientific effort is necessary in order to build confidence in the evaluation and acceptance of GM foods.