The future of GM foods or GM foods of the future: where is the biotech revolution heading?
Lucas, Stuart J. and Türkeç, Aydın and Karlık, Elif (2016) The future of GM foods or GM foods of the future: where is the biotech revolution heading? In: Bagchi, Debasis and Swaroop, Anand, (eds.) Food Toxicology. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FA, USA, pp. 519-537. ISBN 9781498708746
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Increasing agricultural productivity to provide food security for a growing world population is one of the pressing challenges of the 21st century. Genetic engineering has the potential to greatly accelerate crop improvement, as it bypasses the lengthy process of selecting for a desired trait over several generations that is required by classical breeding methods. Genetically modified (GM) foods have been available for 20 years; however, public and political concern about potential risks associated with GM has led to tight restrictions on their import and use in some countries, and strict monitoring of foodstuffs that may contain them. In this context, a new group of technologies collectively referred to as ‘Genome Editing’ is now being applied to crop plants, which offers the advantages of standard GM approaches without many of the perceived risks. In this chapter, we examine the food safety aspects of current GM crops, considering the methods by which they are produced, what risks this may present and how these risks are assessed. We also explore the methods currently employed to monitor the presence and prevalence of GM material in the global food industry. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of Genome Editing on the next generation of genetically engineered foods.
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