Foods derived from genetically modified plants must be safe, otherwise they may not be allowed. But what is considered safe and how is that measured? The American public’s general understanding is that genetically modified foods are dangerous and may be linked to a several serious health issues. The jury is still out on whether that’s true. Recently, a French study implied a connection between genetically modified foods and cancer in rodents, but the report came under scrutiny for various conflicts. According to the laws in force throughout the European Union, genetically modified foods will only be authorized if:
- – Sufficient scientific data is available to evaluate the safety of the product.
- – This data implies the foods can be considered safe and harmless to health as comparable to conventional products.
- – A plan is established to monitor the genetically modified food and quickly remove it from the market if necessary.
Aside from authorization issues, new studies show that humans and animals have lived with this genetic food and feed for many years, and not just from genetically modified plants.
From 2013 onward there are detailed statutory provisions an applicant must submit to check if a genetically modified food is as safe as a conventional counterpart. Feeding studies are also required to authorize a genetically modified plant as food and feed. In the feeding study, a special diet from around the genetically modified plant is fed to rodents for 90 days and evaluated according to international standards.
Whether further investigations are required depends on the particular genetically modified plant.