Is food grown with or developed from biotech seeds contributing to allergies in America?
Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo!
Q: Is food grown with or developed from biotech seeds contributing to allergies in America?
Like anyone with products connected to food, we take food allergies very seriously. The process of GM development has safeguards to prevent the introduction of new allergens. There is no evidence of any new allergens being introduced in GM foods.
It is important to note that there are hundreds of thousands of different proteins in the human diet, and only a tiny fraction of these are significant food allergens. Thus, the risk of a new protein being a food allergen is very low. Regardless, in the initial stages of product development, Monsanto researchers avoid sources of known allergens, such as nuts and eggs, as potential gene sources for GM crops.
However, regardless of the source of the gene, we assess every new protein to help avoid the introduction of potential allergens into a GM crop. Assessing for potential allergenicity of introduced proteins is not only part of our broad commitment to safety but it is also part of the FDA consultation component of the safety assessment of GM crops.