Bree from Eastwood, New South Wales, Australia asked:

Can genetically modified produce cause cancer?

Genetically modified tomatoes

Are there cancer risks associated with eating genetically modified food?

The source:
Our answer

There is no proven evidence of a link between genetically modified foods now on the market and cancer risk. Genetically modified (GM) crops have genes altered or genes from other plants or organisms added to increase a plant’s yield or improve it some way. Genetic modification technology is used in food crops to increase the nutritional quality, increase the hardiness, improve pest or disease resistance and increase herbicide tolerance. Only genetically modified cotton and canola crops are grown in Australia, but some imported foods contain genetically modified ingredients, derived from soybeans, canola, corn and sugar beet. Food Standards Australia New Zealand approves GM food ingredients imported from overseas. However, while there is no evidence to date that eating GM foods will increase your risk of cancer, these foods have only been around for a relatively short time, so we can’t say with certainty that there won’t be any long-term health effects. It’s important that authorities continue to assess the safety of GM foods. When talking about what to eat, Cancer Council recommends eating a variety of nutritious foods and limiting the amount of processed food we eat. In Australia, we are lucky we have a wide variety of vegetables and fruit and fresh foods to select from. Eating these foods and maintaining a healthy weight is the best way we can eat to prevent cancer.

This page was last updated on: September 19, 2013
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