Fresh off the printer is a new paper featured in Nature: Scientific Reports that describes important new research by an international consortium of scientists led by Robin Mesnage from the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College of London. It appears that for the first time, clear evidence has been published of subtle metabolic changes in GE corn, leading to substantial differences in the levels of many compounds and secondary plant metabolites, including some linked to heightened allergenic responses. See this Hygeia Analytics post to read a discussion with the author of this important paper.
These findings have important regulatory implications as nutritional and compositional “substantial equivalence” is required in order for a GMO crop to be granted market approval for human and animal consumption, according to the FDA. Unintended consequences of genetic engineering, such as those documented in this study, can include rearrangements or removal of parts of the genetic code, and can have ripple effects on the nutritional quality or health impacts of the product. This is the first study to that comprehensively and consistently demonstrates such unintended consequences.
Congrats to Robin, Michael, and their team for getting through what must have been a brutal peer review process. See this post for a detailed back-and-forth between the research team and some of their peers about this study. As Arpad Pusztai said many years ago, eventually science would document, and come to understand, the causes of the adverse health impacts he observed in his now infamous rat study with the GE potatoes.
“An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveals metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process,” Nature: Scientific Reports, December 19, 2016.