Uncovered, the ‘toxic’ gene hiding in GM crops: Revelation throws new doubt over safety of foods

“A virus gene that could be poisonous to humans has been missed when GM food crops have been assessed for safety.”

“Significantly, the EFSA researchers concluded that the presence of segments of Gene VI ‘might result in unintended phenotypic changes’. Such changes include the creation of proteins that are toxic to humans. They could also trigger changes in the plants themselves, making them more vulnerable to pests. Critics say the revelations make clear that the GM approvals process, which has been in place for 20 years, is fatally flawed.” [Daily Mail]

6 thoughts on “Uncovered, the ‘toxic’ gene hiding in GM crops: Revelation throws new doubt over safety of foods”

  1. Here is is the response by EFSA to this “controversy”,,,seems like much ado about very little…http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/faqs/faqinsertedfragmentofviralgeneingmplants.htm

    FAQ on inserted fragment of viral gene in GM plants
    1. Certain media reports have claimed a paper published in the academic journal GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Food Chain had discovered a previously unknown viral gene in commercial GM crops that may present a hazard to human health. Is this claim true?
    No, the data published in the paper ‘Possible Consequences of the overlap between the CaMV 35S promoter regions in the plant transformation vectors used in the viral gene VI in transgenic plants’ do not represent a new discovery in GMO risk assessment nor do they indicate safety concerns in previously evaluated GMOs.
    2. What is the viral gene discussed in the paper?
    The viral gene (Gene VI) belongs to a plant virus (Cauliflower Mosaic virus) that cannot infect animals or humans and therefore presents no threat to human or animal health. This virus naturally infects many plants with no recorded health effects.
    3. Was EFSA aware of the existence of fragments of Gene VI in certain GM plants prior to the publication of this paper and have EFSA’s risk assessments of GMOs considered the potential effects of such fragments?
    Yes. All GM plant applications assessed by EFSA since its creation in 2002 that contain the inserted fragment of the viral gene in question have included a detailed analysis of its sequence and its function. These applications have also included the extensive data required by EFSA to assess the potential for unintended effects. In its assessment of these applications, no safety concerns were identified in relation to the sequence of the inserted fragment of the viral gene and the potential for unintended effects.
    4. Is this paper an official EFSA scientific output?
    No, this is not an official EFSA output. It was authored by a former member of EFSA staff and the current Vice-Chair of the GMO Panel in their independent capacity. This paper has been known to EFSA’s GMO Panel from the outset; Members of the Panel’s Molecular Characterisation Working Group are acknowledged in the paper for the advice given to the authors as the research was being undertaken. In accordance with its Science Strategy, EFSA encourages its scientific staff to contribute to the scientific literature in their specific area of expertise.
    For media enquiries, please contact:
    EFSA Media Relations Office
    Tel. +39 0521 036 149
    E-mail: Press@efsa.europa.eu

  2. The gene they ‘discovered’ was put there on purpose, and we’ve known it’s there for over a decade and a half. It’s not new. It performs a useful function. And anyone who eats cauliflower, brussel sprouts or broccoli has eaten tons of these genes. Woo-woo, boo-hoo.

  3. This is nothing but more crap from the people who are afraid of the future. Since the first hominid discovered how to make stone tools or how to make fire, there have been such fearful people. For countless hundreds of thousands of years, they try to allay their fears by demanding that there be nothing new under the sun – especially that which is created by the mind of man. They know they are not competent to live on earth and project that incompetency onto anyone who is. They further attempt to use their incompetency to justify the enslavement of those who are capable of living on earth. They continue their madness even though such actions makes it impossible for anyone to live and thrive.

    The three fundamental laws of reality:
    1. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
    2. You can’t have your cake, if you don’t make it.
    3. You can’t eat the next fellows cake, if you make it impossible for him to make it.

    Ultimately, this madness will end. Our challenge is surviving until it does.

  4. Well, what’s a couple hundred million more dead third world types. After all this MIGHT cause something or other the critics don’t approve of. Rachel Carson’s bloody children must be appeases….

  5. How do qualifiers such as “might” or “could” “make clear”? Considering the hundreds of thousands if not millions of tons of GM products that have been consumed and people aren’t dropping dead, how harmful is it really?

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