The final version of a new paper by Dr Terje Traavik and Dr Jack Heinemann takes a critical look at the state of scientific knowledge about the potential human health effects of GMOS.
The authors identify some of the putative health hazards related to GM plants used as food or feed. They also identify numerous areas of omitted research, which need urgent investigation. This includes risks related to rearrangements of transgene inserts, the fate and consequences of DNA persistence and uptake in the mammalian gastro-intestinal tract, alteration in protein contents of GM food, the allergenicity of transgenic products, the implications of post-translational modifications and questions over the 35S CaMV promoter and the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes.
The authors call for publicly funded, independent biosafety research rooted in the Precautionary Principle, in order to address this situation. There is also a need to follow-up on "early warnings" of potential health and environmental impacts that are already in the literature.
The paper can also be found at Third World Network's Biosafety Information Centre, at