Health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials

This systematic review collected data concerning the effects of diets containing GM maize, potato, soybean, rice, or triticale on animal health.

They examined 12 long-term studies (of more than 90 days, up to 2 years in duration) and 12 multigenerational studies (from 2 to 5 generations). They referenced the 90-day studies on GM feed for which long-term or multigenerational study data were available. Many aspects were examined in the studies using biochemical analyses, histological examination of specific organs, hematology and the detection of transgenic DNA. The statistical findings and methods were considered from each study. 

Results from all the 24 studies do not suggest any health hazards and, in general, there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed. However, some small differences were observed, though these fell within the normal variation range of the considered parameter and thus had no biological or toxicological significance. If required, a 90-day feeding study performed in rodents, according to the OECD Test Guideline, is generally considered sufficient in order to evaluate the health effects of GM feed. The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed.

  • No significant differences in analyzed parameters were found in long-term studies.
  • No significant differences in analyzed parameters were found in multigenerational studies.
  • The 90-day OECD Test Guideline seems adequate and sufficient for evaluating health effects of GM plant diets.
  • The benefits of harmonizing experimental protocols in fundamental research to raise the quality of such studies are discussed.

Snell Chelsea, Bernheim Aude, Bergé Jean-Baptiste, Kuntz Marcel, Pascal Gérard, Paris Alain, Agnès E. Ricroch
Food and Chemical Technology, In Press, Uncorrected Proof, doi:10.1016/j.fct.2011.11.048

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