Food and Feed Safety of Genetically Engineered Food Crops

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Abstract or Summary

The first genetically engineered (GE) food crop (tomato) was introduced in 1995, followed by the successful development and commercial release of maize, soybeans, cotton, canola, potatoes, papaya, alfalfa, squash, and sugar beets with specific new genetic traits. Even though the safety of every new GE crop has been evaluated by various regulatory authorities throughout the world prior to its commercial release, the ongoing public debate about the safety of food and feed derived from GE plants has not abated. Such debates often overshadow an important fact that all crops used as human food or animal feed include varieties that have been developed through conventional breeding and selection over hundreds or thousands of years, or through intentional but random mutagenesis. Developing food crops through such breeding practices result in large-scale genomic changes in the resulting crops, and these genomic changes do not undergo molecular characterization. In contrast, new GE crops are developed using well-characterized DNA fragments and the resulting crops are tested and evaluated with much greater scrutiny. This document reviews the safety data and information of GE crops and foods obtained from them.

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