Untangling the Debate Over Genetically Modified Foods

Posted: 6 Aug 2014

See all articles by Joanna Sax

Joanna Sax

California Western School of Law

Date Written: August 5, 2014


For about 30 years, Genetically Modified (GM) foods have been in the food supply chain – either as feed for animals or directly consumed by humans. To date, there is no evidence of safety issues associated with the ingestion of GM foods; yet, GM plants are highly controversial for a variety of reasons.

The techniques to create GM food vary. Older, or more established techniques, include the introduction of a gene into the DNA of the plant. The exogenous gene may encode a protein to allow the plant to be, for example, pest resistant. Newer technologies are based on advances in molecular biology. For example, companies are experimenting with RNAi to silence genes/proteins produced in insects, thus killing the insect. The techniques discovered in molecular biology can be applied to the creation of new GM food strands.

The peer-reviewed scientific literature is clear that the GM foods on the market are safe for consumption. This doesn't mean the analysis of GM foods should end; rather, it should focus on environmental and health (not safety) issues; such as, how do we implement GM crops in an environmentally friendly way.

Too much emphasis and controversy focuses on non-issues with GM foods, such as safety, while other real issues, such as farming techniques, are being ignored. This article will clear-up the non-issues and address the pressing issues.

Keywords: FDA, GM, GMO, Food, Science

Suggested Citation

Sax, Joanna, Untangling the Debate Over Genetically Modified Foods (August 5, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2476618

Joanna Sax (Contact Author)

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-515-1555 (Phone)

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