Controversy over genetically modified organisms: the governing laws and regulations

Qual Assur. 2000 Jan-Mar;8(1):33-6. doi: 10.1080/105294100753209174.


Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are increasingly becoming a topic of controversy in the U.S. and abroad. The public is questioning their safety and wanting the products labeled as genetically modified. There are other concerns from some of the scientific world and some government officials and organizations such as the Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) that question whether adequate research has been done to qualify GMOs as safe for long-term use. Of particular concern are the allergenic properties, a GMO may impart, possible transfer effects of antibiotic resistance (given that antibiotic resistant marker genes are used for many GMOs), the expression of previously unexpressed traits, and the drift of pollen from genetically modified crops. It has also been noted that the laws and regulations governing the biotechnology world are outdated, are not comprehensive, and span too many agencies. The primary agencies currently regulating biotechnology are the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified*
  • Public Policy*
  • United States
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States Food and Drug Administration