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Cover Letter:

05 March 2019



Dear Friends and Colleagues

Fate of GM food-derived DNA in the Human Body

Global commercialization of genetically modified (GM) food and feed has stimulated much debate over the fate of GM food-derived DNA in the body of the consumer and as to whether it poses any health risks. A new review by international toxicologists looked at the fate of DNA derived from GM food in the human body.

The study found that mechanical or chemical processing of food, prior to entering the digestive system, compromises DNA integrity. Nevertheless, food-DNA can survive harsh processing and digestive conditions with fragments up to a few hundred base pairs detectable in the gastrointestinal tract. Compelling evidence supported the presence of food (also GM food) derived DNA in the blood and tissues of humans and animals.

While there was limited evidence of food-born DNA integrating into the genome of the consumer and of horizontal transfer of GM crop DNA into gut-bacteria, there was strong evidence that plant-food-miRNAs (microRNA, small non-coding RNA molecules) can survive digestion, enter the body and affect gene expression patterns in different organs. It can be expected that miRNAs from GM foods will behave similarly, and this is an area of research that needs to be explored.

With best wishes,

Third World Network
131 Jalan Macalister
10400 Penang
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