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Laboratory | Immune system | Allergies


Evaluation of the potential allergenicity of novel foods: GMOs

Published on 30 October 2017
Knowledge and methods developed in the various previous projects led to propose new approaches and strategies for evaluating the safety of genetically modified plants, especially in terms of allergenic risk.

For example, we have evaluated the allergenic safety of Cry1Ab, an insecticidal protein from Bacillus thuringiensis which is expressed in various genetically modified (GM) crops, such as MON810 maize. Our study showed that although the purified Cry1Ab is highly resistant to digestion, possesses slight adjuvant effect on the elicitation of the allergic reaction and is highly immunogenic in mice, it did not induce an immune response when the transgenic maize is incorporated into the diet. Moreover, the genetic modification was not evidenced to modify the intrinsic allergenicity of maize. Further studies aiming at providing guidance for the use and improvement of existing and new assessment tools for GM food/feed safety evaluation are currently in progress within two ongoing programs: the European program "GMO Risk Assessment and Communication of Evidence" (GRACE, FP7 2012-2016) GRACE and the French program «Interactions between insect toxins and intestinal mucosa from invertebrate and vertebrate» (CryMuc, APR RiskOGM 2010, 2010-2014).