Safety assessment of GM plants: An updated review of the scientific literature

Food Chem Toxicol. 2016 Sep:95:12-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.06.013. Epub 2016 Jun 16.


In a wide revision of the literature conducted in 2000, I noted that the information in scientific journals on the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods in general, and GM plants in particular, was scarce. Of course, it was not sufficient to guarantee that the consumption of these products should not mean risks for the health of the consumers. Because of the scientific interest in GM organisms (GMOs), as well as the great concern that the consumption of GM foods/plants has raised in a number of countries, I conducted two subsequent revisions (2007 and 2011) on the adverse/toxic effects of GM plants. In the present review, I have updated the information on the potential adverse health effects of GM plants consumed as food and/or feed. With only a few exceptions, the reported studies in the last six years show rather similar conclusions; that is to say, the assessed GM soybeans, rice, corn/maize and wheat would be as safe as the parental species of these plants. However, in spite of the notable increase in the available information, studies on the long-term health effects of GM plants, including tests of mutagenicity, teratogenicity and carcinogenicity seem to be still clearly necessary.

Keywords: Adverse effects; Genetically modified (GM) plants; Health risks; Safety; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Product Safety / standards*
  • Humans
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / adverse effects*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety
  • Toxicity Tests