Expert Analysis:
Food Safety

May 17, 2016

National Academies report looks at 30 years of GE crops, advocates changes to regulation

The National Academies has published a wide-ranging assessment of the impact of genetically engineered crops. The report recommends U.S. regulations need to focus on individual products, not the process by which they were made. Continue reading

May 10, 2016

Commercial lab releases genomic analysis of burger products, reports hygiene and quality issues

The company Clear Labs performed a genomic analysis of 258 U.S. burger products, and reported that 13.6% of the products had problems with substitution, hygienic issues or pathogenic contamination. Continue reading

March 8, 2016

Not a one-way street: Antibiotic resistance genes found on cattle farms suggest spread from humans to livestock

The first study to track antibiotic resistance all the way through the intensive beef production process found genes conferring resistance to ‘last resort’ antibiotics which are not used in the livestock industry. Continue reading

November 2, 2015

How will the source of the E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle be identified?

An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Oregon and Washington state has resulted in at least 22 people falling sick including 8 who have been hospitalized. Health department officials along with the CDC and the FDA are investigating the outbreak, whose source is still unknown. Continue reading

September 7, 2015

Extracts from genetically engineered plants could fight food-borne E. coli

Engineering plants to produce antibacterial proteins could offer a new way to control disease-causing E. coli in fresh food, according to a study in PNAS. Researchers genetically engineered plants to produce colicins – proteins which kill or inhibit the growth of E. coli – and found that when extracted, the colicins significantly reduced bacterial populations. Continue reading

August 25, 2015

Consumer Reports finds widespread fecal bacterial in ground beef, recommends buying antibiotic-free

A Consumer Reports investigation analyzed 300 samples of ground beef bought from food stores in the US, reporting 100% of the products tested positive for bacteria found in feces. The authors recommended consumers should buy beef from cattle raised without antibiotics, on food safety grounds. Continue reading

August 19, 2015

Researchers call for review of GE crop safety, cite public health concerns over glyphosate, 2,4-D

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Philip Landrigan and Charles Benbrook call for a reconsideration of the safety of plant biotechnology due to concern over the impact of herbicides on public health. Continue reading

July 2, 2015

Study from Gilles-Éric Séralini argues food safety trials undermined by chemicals in rat feed

A group of researchers has called into question the validity of rodent feeding trials, used in biomedical research and in the regulation of commercial products, by analyzing the diets of control rats. The research, published in PLOS ONE, was from the lab of Gilles-Eric Séralini. Continue reading

July 1, 2015

Education and age, not political ideology, divide US attitudes on GE foods and biomedicine

American public attitudes about the safety of eating genetically engineered foods and the safety of childhood vaccines do not split down party political lines, unlike attitudes to climate change and energy, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center. Factors like education, gender and age were found to be more divisive on attitudes to food safety and biomedical topics. Continue reading