Toxicity studies of genetically modified plants: a review of the published literature

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2007;47(8):721-33. doi: 10.1080/10408390601177670.


According to the information reported by the WHO, the genetically modified (GM) products that are currently on the international market have all passed risk assessments conducted by national authorities. These assessments have not indicated any risk to human health. In spite of this clear statement, it is quite amazing to note that the review articles published in international scientific journals during the current decade did not find, or the number was particularly small, references concerning human and animal toxicological/health risks studies on GM foods. In this paper, the scientific information concerning the potential toxicity of GM/transgenic plants using the Medline database is reviewed. Studies about the safety of the potential use of potatoes, corn, soybeans, rice, cucumber, tomatoes, sweet pepper, peas, and canola plants for food and feed were included. The number of references was surprisingly limited. Moreover, most published studies were not performed by the biotechnology companies that produce these products. This review can be concluded raising the following question: where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe?

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / toxicity
  • Animals
  • DNA, Plant / analysis
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Glycine max / genetics
  • Glycine max / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / toxicity
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / toxicity*
  • Risk Factors
  • Solanum tuberosum / genetics
  • Solanum tuberosum / toxicity
  • World Health Organization
  • Zea mays / genetics
  • Zea mays / toxicity


  • DNA, Plant