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Successful Initial Safety Tests For Genetically-modified Rice That Fights Allergy

Date:
July 2, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
In a first-of-its-kind advance toward the next generation of genetically modified foods — intended to improve consumers' health — researchers in Japan are reporting that a new transgenic rice designed to fight a common pollen allergy appears safe in animal studies. 
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A new transgenic rice designed to fight a common pollen allergy appears safe in animals, scientists in Japan report.
Credit: David Monniaux, Wikimedia Commons

In a first-of-its-kind advance toward the next generation of genetically modified foods — intended to improve consumers' health — researchers in Japan are reporting that a new transgenic rice designed to fight a common pollen allergy appears safe in animal studies. 

Fumio Takaiwa and colleagues note that the first generation of genetically-modified crops was designed to help keep crops weed and insect free. The next generation of transgenic crops is being developed to directly benefit human health. This includes veggies and grains that produce higher levels of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, or even medicines and vaccines. Like the first generation of transgenic foods, however, researchers are anxiously trying to determine whether foods produced from these "biopharmaceutical" crops will be safe for humans and the environment.

The scientists describe development of a transgenic rice plant that has been genetically- engineered to fight allergies to Japanese cedar pollen, a growing public health problem in Japan that affects about 20 percent of the population. In laboratory studies, the researchers fed a steamed version of the transgenic rice and a non-transgenic version to a group of monkeys everyday for 26 weeks. At the end of the study period, the test animals did not show any health problems, in an initial demonstration that the allergy-fighting rice may be safe for consumption, the researchers say.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Domon et al. 26-Week Oral Safety Study in Macaques for Transgenic Rice Containing Major Human T-Cell Epitope Peptides from Japanese Cedar Pollen Allergens. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009; 57 (12): 5633 DOI: 10.1021/jf900371u

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American Chemical Society. "Successful Initial Safety Tests For Genetically-modified Rice That Fights Allergy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629124957.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, July 2). Successful Initial Safety Tests For Genetically-modified Rice That Fights Allergy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629124957.htm
American Chemical Society. "Successful Initial Safety Tests For Genetically-modified Rice That Fights Allergy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629124957.htm (accessed July 3, 2015).

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