Hazards with Genetically Engineered RR soy
Monsantos RoundupReady Soy has been widely used. It turns out that it is not unproblematic.
A human feeding study found that parts of the gene which was articially inserted (called the "transgene" below) into RR-soy turned up in the DNA of gut bacteria.
Although, in this study, the whole transgene was not incorporated into the bacteria, we find it justified to assume that whole transgene can be incorporated as well. Please note that it is enough for this to occur in one single case so as to have serious consequences, because this bacterium may multiply by thousands, and in addition it can transfer the gene to other bacteria through "mating" (horisontal transfer).
If this occurs, it might have potentially have problematic consequences:
The bacteria are then enabled to create the foreign protein. If it is toxic (like in the case of Bt-toxin) or allergenic (as in the case of RR-soy protein), they may continue producing the harmful substance for years after you have eaten just one meal of the GE food.
For example, the RR-Soy gene produces a bacterial protein which is partly identical with an allergenic shrimp protein. Consequently a person with shrimp allergy would get lasting problems from eating RR soy.
A disconcerting fact is that other studies have indicated that the genes don't stay in the intestines, but may be taken up by the body, see "DNA from GE foods can end up in your genes".
1. Netherwood, et al, Assessing the survival of transgenic plant DNA in the human gastrointestinal tract, Nature Biotechnology, Vol 22 Number 2 February 2004.
2. Michael Hansen, “Possible Human Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Bt Crops: Comments on the human health and product characterization sections of EPA’s Bt Plant-Pesticides Biopesticides Registration Action Document,” Presented to the EPA Science Advisory Panel Arlington, VA, October 20, 2000
3. Mae-Wan Ho, Angela Ryan and Joe Cummins, “Cauliflower Mosaic Viral Promoter—A Recipe for Disaster?” Institute of Science in Society.
"Genetically Engineered Food - Safety Problems"Published by PSRAST
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