Preconceived notions about genetically engineered or modified foods (GEs/GMOs) and their impact on humans and animals are incorrect, according to a recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, which suggests that such organisms are as safe as conventional crops.
"The study committee found no substantiated evidence of a difference in risks to human health between current commercially available genetically engineered (GE) crops and conventionally bred crops, nor did it find conclusive cause-and-effect evidence of environmental problems from the GE crops," an announcement of the report read.
The massive report spans hundreds of pages and is the product of two years worth of work from a committee of scientists, researchers, and experts. Eater's sister site Vox distilled the report into some takeaways, including revelations that genetically engineered crops have proven financially beneficial for farmers in certain circumstances.
Additionally, the report says available data offer no apparent "associations between any disease or chronic conditions and the consumption of GE foods," and in some cases, such foods have proven to help people avoid insecticide poisonings. The report suggests that any concerns should focus on the products that come of genetic engineering, not the process of doing so, so that as products change, regulations follow.
A legislative battle has emerged over use and labeling of genetically engineered products, with communities, restaurants and chefs, and politicians coming down hard on either side. A debate over mandatory labeling bills is getting ready to open up the Senate, and this report from the National Academies could come into play, potentially influencing how the government labels genetically engineered products, like salmon, that have been deemed safe for human consumption.