GM crops have been tested for safety more than any other crop in the history of agriculture. Global scientific bodies and regulatory authorities have consistently concluded that GM crops are as safe for humans, animals, and the environment as non-GM crops.
American Medical Association
“Bioengineered foods (GMO food) have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”
The Royal Society
“We believe that the risks to human health associated with the use of specific viral DNA sequences in GM plants are negligible. Given the very long history of DNA consumption from a wide variety of sources, it is likely that such consumption poses no significant risk to human health, and that additional ingestion of GM DNA has no effect.”
National Academy of Science
“...the study committee found no substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health between currently commercialized genetically engineered (GE) crops and conventionally bred crops, nor did it find conclusive cause-and-effect evidence of environmental problems from the GE crops.”
Does GM food cause cancer?
There is no evidence that GM food causes cancer. The WHO says: “GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”
Have long-term health studies been performed on GM crops?
Many long-term health studies have been conducted on GMOs. Aside from the fact that GMOs have a long and safe track record, GM crops are repeatedly and extensively tested for consumer and environmental safety, and those tests are reviewed in the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and similar organizations internationally.
“The main conclusion, after more than 130 research projects covering a period of more than 25 years of research and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.” — The European Commission
Does GM food cause allergies?
GMOs on the market today do not introduce any new allergies.
“No commercially available crops contain allergens that have been created by genetically engineering a seed/plant. And the rigorous testing process ensures that will never happen.” — Lisa Katic, R.D.
A goal of the safety testing process is to determine that a GMO crop is as safe as the conventional counterpart. So a person with no allergenicity to conventionally bred soy (for example) will have no allergenicity to the GM counterpart either. GM crops do not produce random new allergens.
Do GM crops have an impact on bees?
According to Bayer's Bee Care Lead Dr. Christian Maus, an increased honey bee colony mortality, as observed in the last decades in some regions, has caused many concerns regarding bee health. Claims have been circulated that insect-protected GM crops harm bees, but these assertions have been refuted by the vast majority of the scientific community.
This is due to the fact that the mechanism with which GM crops control pest insects is specific to the target insect group and has no physiological activity against other insects. Therefore, this approach to protect crops from damage by pests is safe to bees.
In fact, sprays of formulated Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) products are widely used by organic farmers to control pests and are not considered harmful to bees. These contain the same active ingredient produced by some GM crops. Additionally, the most current evidence shows honey bees are not in decline nor is there a general decline among all wild bees in all regions.
If livestock eat genetically modified grain, will there be GMOs in my meat?
It has been estimated that over 70 percent of harvested GM crops are fed to food-producing animals, making the world’s livestock populations the largest consumers of the current generation of GM crops.
Van Eenennaam and Young  examined publicly-available data from the USDA on productivity and health of farm animals from animals prior to and after GM crops entered the market.
Health and performance records of over 100 billion animals from 1983 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2011 were evaluated. The data showed no apparent evidence of changes in productivity or health with the change to consuming predominantly GM crops.
“Genetically engineered crops are digested by animals in the same way as conventional crops.” says Eenennaam. “Evidence to date strongly suggests that feeding livestock with genetically engineered crops is equivalent to feeding unmodified feed sources in terms of nutrient composition, digestibility, and feeding value.”
- GMOA – Are GMOs safe? (Infographic)
- Best Food Facts – What Do You Want to Know About GMO Food? (Video)
- GMOA – Get to Know Health and Safety of GMOs (Handout)
- GMOA – How are GMOs tested for Allergies? (Infographic)
- Best Food Facts: What do you want to know about GMO Food? Environmental Impacts (Video)
- GMOA –TOP 10 Consumer Questions about GMOs (Handout)
- The Royal Society – Is it safe to eat GM crops?
- GM plants Questions and Answers
- FDA – Agricultural Biotechnology: Feed Your Mind
- GMO Answers
- International Food Information Council Foundation
- European Commission: A decade of EU funded GMO research 2001-2010
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2016) Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects and Report in Brief
- Alison L Van Eenennaam, A.E. Young (2014) Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations
- Gregory S. Ladics (2018) Assessment of the potential allergenicity of genetically-engineered food crops, Journal of Immunotoxicology
- Bryan Delaney (2015) Safety assessment of foods from genetically modified crops in countries with developing economies
- Snell C, Bernheim A, Berge JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, et al. (2012) Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review