The potential health and environmental effects of genetically-modified (GM)
foods have been making news. European groups have continually put forth
strong opposition to GM crops and foods, whereas in the USA their use has
been common and has received little attention until recently.
There is little information on the potential human health effects (toxicity)
of GM foods other than reports that showed mice fed GM foods had some
changes in the epithelium of the g. i. tract (Lancet 354:1353-4, 1999). This
work has been questioned in commentaries that appeared in Lancet, Nature,
and other publications. In general, the GM crops and foods seem to be safe.
A recent study of farm workers who utilized Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) as a
"natural" pesticide showed some signs of immunolgical reaction (IgG and E
antibodies), although "none of these symptoms....could be attributed to
occupational disease" (Envir. Health Perspect. 107: 575-82, 1999).
Do GM crops and foods pose a threat to human health? If so, how?
Charles A. Miller III, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Sciences, SL29
Tulane Univ. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
and Tulane-Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research
1430 Tulane Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70112
(504) 585-6942 fax: (504) 584-1726
rellim at mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu
Bionet.toxicology news group: http://www.bio.net/hypermail/toxicol/current/
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