Keywords: biotechnology, genetically engineered foods, bioengineered, health effects, transgenic modifications, genome, agriculture, transgenic crops, genetically modified, substantial equivalence, allergens
Risk assessment and regulation of bioengineered food products
Europe is the epicentre of what has been described as an all out war over the acceptance of genetically engineered foods. Controversy over health effects has centred around simple and complex models of transgenic modifications. Proponents of the simple models emphasise familiarity with the host plant and the well-characterisation of the transgene. Advocates of the complex models consider the genome to be more like an ecosystem than a set of Legos. They emphasise the indeterminacy and unintended outcomes of foreign gene insertions. Evolving concepts of health that embrace health promotion and sustainable agriculture set additional standards for transgenic crops that transcend reductionist approaches to risk assessment based on contested genomic principles.