We Currently Eat Genetically Engineered Food, But Don’t Know It & The Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods Are Unclear
The issue of GM food safety was first discussed at a meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and biotech representatives in 1990. The “substantial equivalence” concept was proposed in early 1996. The adoption of the concept of substantial equivalence allowed permission to market and sell new foods without any safety or toxicology tests as long as they were not too different in chemical composition to foods already on the market. [FDA GRAS proposal] To decide if a modified product is substantially equivalent, the product is tested by the manufacturer for unexpected changes in a limited set of variables such as toxins, nutrients or allergens that are known to be present in the unmodified food. If these tests show no significant difference between the modified and unmodified products, then no further food safety testing is required.