Can science give us the tools for recognizing possible health risks of GM food?

Nutr Health. 2002;16(2):73-84. doi: 10.1177/026010600201600202.


Nearly ten years after the introduction of GM foodcrops there are still only a handful of published studies about their safety. Independent studies are even fewer, moreover, no peer-reviewed publications exist in which the results of clinical investigations on the possible effects of GM food on human health are described. Even though the evaluation of the safety or possible toxicity of GM foodstuffs is more difficult than that of drugs or food additives, this scarcity of data and the lack of a scientific database is curious particularly as descriptions of the results of chemical, nutritional and biological testing in some early (unpublished) studies or some more recent publications demonstrate the feasibility of carrying out proper and scientifically valid health risk assessment on GM foods. In this review, after critically examining some of the basic principles, past results and possible novel methods of future health safety assessment of GM foodstuffs, the conclusion appears to be that as the tools for the recognition and indeed for the elimination of the risks GM foods may present for us are available or can be developed, it is the will and the funding for such work that needs to be found.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Food Technology*
  • Food, Genetically Modified / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment