Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research revisiting the safety of GM weevil-resistant peas in mice contradicts previous risk assessment findings

Date:
January 10, 2013
Source:
Medical University of Vienna
Summary:
Researchers have conducted feeding trials with mice to investigate the allergenicity of genetically modified (GM) weevil-resistant peas. Development of the peas was discontinued in 2005 when a risk assessment showed negative reactions in mice to the peas.

Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna have conducted feeding trials with mice to investigate the allergenicity of genetically modified (GM) weevil-resistant peas. Development of the peas was discontinued in 2005 when a risk assessment conducted by the CSIRO and Australian National University showed negative reactions in mice to the peas (Prescott et al 2005).

Field peas are an important rotation crop, which can be devastated by pea weevil (Bruchus pisorum) infestation. Unlike peas, beans are not attacked by pea weevils as they contain a protein called α-amylase inhibitor (αAI) that causes the weevils feeding on beans to starve before they cause any damage.

The MedUni Vienna-team investigated immune responses in mice fed several varieties of beans, non-transgenic peas and the transgenic peas, expressing the bean or the transgenic versions of the α-amylase inhibitor. The mice showed similar levels of immune response no matter which food they consumed.

Dr. Michelle Epstein, the lead researcher said, "We observed that the immune response in mice was the same no matter whether the inhibitor came from beans, where it naturally occurs, or from peas genetically modified to express the inhibitor and even in non-transgenic peas." "These results demonstrate that αAI transgenic peas are no more allergenic than beans or non-transgenic peas in mice" Dr. Epstein added.

The Prescott study is regularly cited by those on both sides of the GM debate as an example of either the inherent dangers of genetically modified foods or the effectiveness of pre-market studies in identifying potential risk factors. Rodent studies for genetically modified organism (GMO) safety have recently been in the news. Seralini et al. showed untoward effects in rats fed GM corn but these studies were fraught with problems and add to the controversy of using rodents to study GMO safety (see EFSA report).

"The study is important because it illustrates the significance of repeating experiments in independent laboratories" Dr. Epstein said. "It is also vital that investigators are aware of potential unexpected crossreactive allergic responses upon the consumption of plant products, as we found in the non-transgenic peas." Dr. Epstein questions the utility of rodents for evaluating biotech crops and points out that the MUV results highlight the importance of a careful case-by-case evaluation of GM crops, and the role science can play in decision-making around the introduction of GMOs into the food system.

This research was conducted at the Medical University of Vienna as part of the European Commission Framework 7-funded GMSAFOOD project.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rui-Yun Lee, Daniela Reiner, Gerhard Dekan, Andrew E. Moore, T. J. V. Higgins, Michelle M. Epstein. Genetically Modified α-Amylase Inhibitor Peas Are Not Specifically Allergenic in Mice. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (1): e52972 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052972

Cite This Page:

Medical University of Vienna. "Research revisiting the safety of GM weevil-resistant peas in mice contradicts previous risk assessment findings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130110075358.htm>.
Medical University of Vienna. (2013, January 10). Research revisiting the safety of GM weevil-resistant peas in mice contradicts previous risk assessment findings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130110075358.htm
Medical University of Vienna. "Research revisiting the safety of GM weevil-resistant peas in mice contradicts previous risk assessment findings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130110075358.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins