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Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Jun;111(8):1110-3.

Introduction: what are the issues in addressing the allergenic potential of genetically modified foods?

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Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


There is growing concern among the general public and the scientific community regarding the potential toxicity of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The use of biotechnology to enhance pest resistance or nutritional value has raised a number of fundamental questions including the consequences of insertion of reporter genes, the spread of resistance genes to surrounding plants, and the use of suicide genes to prohibit reuse of seed from engineered plants. Of particular interest is the ability of proteins from GMOs to elicit potentially harmful immunologic responses, including allergic hypersensitivity. The lack of information of the potential toxicity of these products suggests a need to identify the critical issues and research needs regarding these materials and to develop testing strategies to examine the allergenicity of these compounds.

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