Genetically engineered crops are no more of a health risk to humans than conventional crops, according to a new analysis released Tuesday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
The group says its review of nearly 900 studies and years of disease data showed no increase in health risks due to the consumption of genetically modified food. However, it is unclear whether GMOs have increased crop yields, the study says, and the evolution of resistance in insects and weeds is a problem.
“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,” the report says.
The group, however, noted that expert scientific bodies do not agree about the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate, an herbicide that’s often paired with genetically engineered crops.
The report comes as the federal government attempts to decide how to define “natural” on labels, as well as related questions such as whether only raw agricultural products deserve the term and what ingredients might render a food ineligible.