Hidden Viral gene found in GMO Crops?


Senior Member.
My conspiracy friends are sending me this story.

What truth, if any is behind these stories?

Not much. EFSA has answered some FAQ's in response to those stories.


1. Certain media reports have claimed a paper published in the academic journal GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Food Chain had discovered a previously unknown viral gene in commercial GM crops that may present a hazard to human health. Is this claim true?

No, the data published in the paper ‘Possible Consequences of the overlap between the CaMV 35S promoter regions in the plant transformation vectors used in the viral gene VI in transgenic plants’ do not represent a new discovery of a viral gene nor do they indicate safety concerns in previously evaluated GMOs.

The following paper confirms the validity of EFSA's statements:

Gene transfer and cauliflower mosaic virus promoter 35S activity in mammalian cells.

Obtained data did not highlight evidences of dietary DNA transfer in mice. No CaMV35s transcriptional activity was detected in this experimental model. These findings emphasize the need for further studies and standardized methods.


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The truth is:
1/ the gene is not "hidden" and it has been known about for years
2/ the study looked to see if any known toxins or allergens were produced by the gene - they could not find any that they recognised
3/ the study produced a "flowchart" to test whether ther might be any unforseen products of genes should you with to test for tehm at some time in the future.

Here is the abstract of the paper concerned


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