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A 90-day safety study in Wistar rats fed genetically modified rice expressing snowdrop lectin Galanthus nivalis (GNA)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kaveh Emami, Professor Angharad MR GatehouseORCiD


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Genetically modified plants expressing insecticidal traits offer a new strategy for crop protection, but at the same time present a challenge in terms of food safety assessment. The present 90-day feeding study was designed to assess the safety of a rice variety expressing the snowdrop Galanthus nivalis lectin (GNA lectin), and forms part of a EU-funded project where the objective has been to develop and validate sensitive and specific methods to assess the safety of genetically modified foods. Male and female Wistar rats were given a purified diet containing either 60% genetically modified or parental rice for 90 days. This corresponds to a mean daily GNA lectin intake of approximately 58 and 67 mg/kg body weight for males and females, respectively. Prior to the animal study comprehensive analytical characterization of both rice materials was performed. The chemical analyses showed a number of statistically significant differences, with the majority being within the ranges reported in the literature. In the animal study a range of clinical, biological, immunological, microbiological and pathological parameters were examined. A number of significant differences were seen between groups fed the two diets, but none of them were considered to be adverse. In conclusion, the design of the present animal study did not enable us to conclude on the safety of the GM food. Additional group(s) where the expressed gene products have been spiked to the diet should be included in order to be able to distinguish whether the observed effects were due to the GNA lectin per se or to secondary changes in the GM rice. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Poulsen M, Kroghsbo S, Schroder M, Wilcks A, Jacobsen H, Miller A, Frenzel T, Danier J, Rychlik M, Shu Q, Emami K, Sudhakar D, Gatehouse A, Engel K-H, Knudsen I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food and Chemical Toxicology

Year: 2007

Volume: 45

Issue: 3

Pages: 350-363

Print publication date: 01/03/2007

ISSN (print): 0278-6915

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6351

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2006.09.002

PubMed id: 17052828


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