Fact Check: Can GMO food change human DNA?

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Quick Take

A social media post claims GMO food can change human DNA. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False. The available research does not confirm GMO food can change human DNA.

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The Claim

An Instagram post shows a screenshot of a news release about a testimony heard by the Missouri House of Representatives in the USA.

April ss

The social media post has received 1,103 likes till we last checked. 

Fact Check

What are GMO foods? 

GMO is an abbreviation for Genetically Modified Organisms. The World Health Organization (WHO) website defines GMOs as organisms (plants, animals, or microorganisms) whose DNA has been changed in a way that won’t affect the natural process of breeding.

The process follows transferring selected genes from one organism to another irrespective of whether they are related. 

A research paper published in 2017 informs that GMO foods are globally accepted for commercial use because they have perceived benefits to the producer or consumer. They have a lower price and greater health benefits.

As per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, GMO foods have:

  • greater shelf life
  • enhanced flavor
  • greater resistance to insects, viruses, and diseases
  • great tolerance to herbicides
  • better nutritional value
  • ability to thrive in the harsh climate and unfavorable soil composition
  • allowed farmers to reduce pesticide use

What does the claim say?

The screenshot of some news release along with the caption mentioned in the claimed Instagram post misconstrue people believing GMO food can change human DNA. The caption of the claimed Instagram post links to a Substack article that claims biotech lobbyists admitted in a hearing of a U.S. Missouri House committee that GMO foods can change DNA. From the available log of testimony and documented House Bill HB 1169, it is unclear what that claim is based upon. From the video of the hearing, it is quite evident that GMO has been improperly mixed with the term ‘gene editing’.

Can GMO food change human DNA?

No evidence confirms eating GMO foods can alter human DNA. We could not find any recorded case of human genes being changed by eating GMO foods. We further researched and found that certain organisms can get DNA besides their parents. This practice is called Horizontal Gene Transfer. But it is quite uncommon in GMO foods. 

The acquisition of genetic material not inherited from a parent, known as horizontal gene transfer, is rare and appears no more likely from GMO food than from non-GMO food.

We also found research papers that show plant microRNA is found in animal blood because of horizontal gene transfer. However, we could not find any laboratory experiments that can explain this type of mix. Also, we do not know whether the sample was GMO. 

Another research paper published in 2022 informs that whatever genetic material enters the body after surviving cooking and digestion is not functional enough to withstand the metabolic barriers of the human body.

Besides this, we researched further and found that a few food scientists in 2009 reported food DNA can survive in the gut. This made them think that the new DNA can affect the immune system. However, no evidence confirms that food DNA from the gut or bloodstream can change the DNA.

Also, it is essential to understand that there is nothing like a tomato gene or a meat gene. All DNA is made up of bases A, T, U, C, and G. 

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Aditi Gangal
Aditi Gangal
A science graduate by education and a content writer by profession, Aditi prefers doing research and analysis at THIP. With a keen eye for detail, she works as a responsible fact checker who sincerely analyses fake news. A proactive and confident writer, she enjoys writing on health and wellbeing.

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Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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