Concern over GMO - allergen link increases
There is growing concern among those who oppose genetically modified foods that those modified crops may be a factor in the increase of food allergies in developing nations.
Genetically modified organisms (GMO) account for a large portion of the average American diet today, with most soy and corn being of a genetically modified variety and many other staples such as wheat becoming commonly GMO as well. Politics aside, the GMO debate often takes a turn into allergies and the potential for the genetic modifications to have an impact on food allergies in particular.
Research is lacking
So far, no solid scientific evidence has surfaced to show a link, but that does not necessarily mean there cannot be one. Science only finds what is sought after, certainly, and little study has been done to prove or discredit links between GMO crops and allergies.
On the other hand, it would seem that genetic crop designers and growers would have an incentive to create crops that are less allergenic, not more so. Of course, this should apply to all concerns people may have with GMO crops in general, but does not necessarily guarantee that this is the outcome.
What we do know is only what we don't know: We do not know if GMO crops contribute to higher allergy levels in a population. Those of us concerned with food allergies and their rise in our culture should see this as a chance to push for more research. After all, if GMO crops do contribute to allergenic reactions, it would be an important thing to know. If they do not, it would be a boon to see crops that do not have allergens (or at least have far lower levels of them) grown instead.
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free peanut-free snack guide.
Stay on top of your allergy with the latest news, lifestyle tips and recipes.