Food Science Expert Says GM Crops are Overregulated

Bruce Chassy, professor emeritus of food science and nutrition of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believes that 20 years since the first genetically modified (GM) crop was commercialized, and after thousands of research studies have been conducted, "GM foods pose no special risk to consumers or the environment."

Speaking at the 2013 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston on Feb. 17, Chassy shared his view that the overregulation of GM crops hurts the environment, reduces global health and burdens the consumer. He said that farmers have witnessed firsthand the advantages of GM crops through increases in their crops' yields and profits, decreases in labor, pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite these benefits, he said, various regulatory agencies require newly developed GM crops to be tested with rigorous safety evaluations and extensive testing that takes five to 10 years, costing tens of millions of dollars, "wasting resources and diverting attention from real food safety issues."

"With more than half of the world's population now living in countries that have adopted GM crops, it might be appropriate to reduce the regulatory scrutiny of GM crops to a level that is commensurate with science-based risk assessment," Chassy said.

The news release is available at


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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