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Arch Hellen Med, 26(6), November-December 2009, 727-740


Health effects of genetically modified food

1Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens,
2University of Thessaly, School of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agriculture, Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, Volos, Greece

As genetically modified (GM) foods are starting to intrude in the diet concerns have been expressed regarding GM food safety. This is a review of these concerns, and the limitations of the procedures followed in the evaluation of GM food safety are presented. Animal toxicity studies with certain GM foods have shown that they may exert a toxic effect on several organs and systems. The review of these studies, not separately for each GM food, but according to the effects exerted on certain organs, may help to create a better picture of the possible human health effects. The findings of most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause common toxic effects, such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal or reproductive impairment, and may alter hematological, biochemical and immunologic parameters. However, many years of research with animals and clinical trials are required for this assessment. The use of recombinant growth hormone (GH) or its expression in animals should be re-examined since it has been shown that it increases IGF-1 which may promote cancer.

Key words: Allergenicity, Animals, Antibiotic resistance, Bt, Crops, DNA uptake, Food safety, Genetically modified, Health effects, Recombinant growth hormone, Toxicity.

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