Assessment of the Allergenic Potential of Foods Derived from Genetically Engineered Crop Plants

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 1996;36(Suppl):S165-S186

Abstract: This article provides a science-based, decision tree approach to assess the allergenic concerns associated with the introduction of gene products into new plant varieties. The assessment focuses on the source from which the transferred gene was derived. Sources fall into three general categories: common allergenic food proteins; less common allergenic foods or other known allergen sources; and sources with no history of allergenicity. Information concerning the amino acid sequence identity to known allergenic proteins, in vitro and/or in vivo immunologic assays, andassessment of key physiochemical properties are included in reaching a recommendation on whether food derived from the genetically modified plant variety should be labeled as to the source of the transferred gene. In the end, a balanced judgement of all the available data generated during allergenicity assessment will assure the safety of foods derived from genetically engineered crops. Using the approaches described here, new plant varieties generated by genetic modification should be introduced into the marketplace with the same confidence that new plant varieties developed by traditional breeding have been introduced for decades.

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