Genetic Engineering Can Spread Allergies

Scientists at the University of Nebraska on March 13, 1996 said tests proved that soybeans modified with genes from Brazil nuts to produce a nutritious protein found in the nuts, also produced proteins that set off a strong, potentially deadly allergic reaction in people sensitive to Brazil nuts. Pioneer Hi-Bred International developed the genetically engineered soybeans that the University of Nebraska tested. Pioneer had hoped to use the soybeans an animal feed, but anticipating problems in keeping soybeans designated for animals from inadvertently entering human food supplies, they are not going to market the soybean.

Dr. Steve L. Taylor, head of the food science and technology department at the University of Nebraska, said "This is the first study to demonstrate the transfer of an allergen from one food to another through genetic engineering. The fact that it happened is not a total surprise, but our research shows that it's not just a theoretical risk." Dr. Taylor continued, "All genetically engineered foods and plants should undergo extensive testing before they are marketed." by Warren Leary
Genetic Engineering Can Spread Allergies
New York Times
March 14, 1996

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