Alison Van Eenennaam: Confirming GE Safety

Alison Van Eenennaam

June 1, 2016

The NAS report (National Academy of Sciences) summarizes the data from our 20-year experience with genetically engineered crops. It looked at the many hundreds of animal feeding studies that have been conducted in both rodents and livestock. It very carefully concluded On the basis of its detailed examination of comparisons between currently commercialized GE and non-GE foods in compositional analysis, acute and chronic animal toxicity tests, long-term data on health of livestock fed GE foods, and epidemiological data, the committee concluded that no differences have been found that implicate a higher risk to human health safety from these GE foods than from their non-GE counterparts.

The report thoroughly examines all of the animal feeding studies that have been conducted, including outliers, and in fact dedicates three pages to an evaluation of the infamous Seralini rat study. The report concluded with this rather stern and uncompromising recommendation: In cases in which early published studies produced equivocal results regarding health effects of a GE crop, follow-up experimentation using trusted research protocols, personnel, and publication outlets should be used to decrease uncertainty and increase the legitimacy of regulatory decisions. To me that translates to, Replicate underpowered studies using appropriate experimental design before holding press conferences to tout the results of studies that are wildly at odds with the weight of evidence from hundreds of independent studies from scientists throughout the world. Hopefully, this comprehensive evaluation by the leading scientific organization in the United States will lay to rest some enduring myths about the safety of GE crops.