Is genetically modified food (GMOs) safe?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Advancements in genetically modified food (GMOs) have concerned consumers and activists. Though the intentions may be good, the effects of these foods are controversial. Is this new form of genetic modification safe?

A new French study says no. Why? This is what they found: NK603 is a type of corn that has been genetically modified to be tolerant of a commonly used herbicide, which would eliminate surrounding weeds but would also be present in small quantities in the foods we eat. The scientists fed rats NK603 that contained levels of the herbicide. They found the rats eventually developed massive tumors after seven months and died earlier than animals fed a “regular” diet.

However, scientists who are in support of genetically modified foods say the research is flawed -- even accusing the authors of going on a “statistical fishing trip” and selecting numbers that suited their study while throwing out the unsuitable data. The opposing scientists also claimed the authors used a breed of rats that were bred to develop tumors as they aged anyway. The authors failed to mention the amount of food given in the article, which is important since high amounts of food, GMO or normal, can increase the risk of tumors. Not to mention, they had a very small control group (fed non-GMO food) of 20 rats that also developed tumors.

Despite the results of the contested study, more research needs to be done on the long-term effects of genetically modified foods on humans. Until that happens, many European countries, like Russia and the UK, have already banned certain types of GMOs for human consumption.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.