Researcher evaluating

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, often get a bad rap. Some consumers are afraid that genetically engineered (GE) foods are unsafe, but once again, science has proven that we have nothing to fear.

An extensive report released last week by the National Academies of Science stated that GE crops are safe for both people and animals. Human consumption of these foods over the past two decades has not been found to cause a rise in cancer, obesity, gastrointestinal illnesses, kidney disease, autism, or allergies.
For two years, a committee of more than 50 scientists, researchers, and agricultural and industry experts came together to create the 388-page document. Data from more than 900 studies spanning 20 years was analyzed, reported the USA Today.

To determine the impact on human health, the committee compared disease reports from the United States and Canada, where GE crops have been consumed since the mid-1990s, to the United Kingdom and western Europe, where GE foods are not widely eaten. No long-term health patterns were found in the United States or Canada after the introduction of GE foods.

With years of research to back GE foods, consumers should be able to cast their concerns aside. This is an emotional issue, though, and one that is not likely to just disappear.

A survey released last year by market research firm NPD Group revealed that more than half of Americans, 57 percent, were concerned that GMOs were a health hazard. To appease those concerns, some food-producing companies have already moved toward GMO labeling or the complete elimination of GE crops from their offerings. Even though the health risks are not there, can science stop this trend that is moving ahead full steam?

The full report, Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, is available online.

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May 23, 2016
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