Unintended effects in genetically modified crops: Revealed by metabolomics?

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    In Europe the commercialization of food derived from genetically modified plants has been slow because of the complex regulatory process and the concerns of consumers. Risk assessment is focused on potential adverse effects on humans and the environment, which could result from unintended effects of genetic modifications: unintended effects are connected to changes in metabolite levels in the plants. One of the major challenges is how to analyze the overall metabolite composition of GM plants in comparison to conventional cultivars, and one possible solution is offered by metabolomics. The ultimate aim of metabolomics is the identification and quantification of all small molecules in an organism; however, a single method enabling complete metabolome analysis does not exist. Given a comprehensive extraction method, a hierarchical strategy – starting with global fingerprinting and followed by complementary profiling attempts – is the most logical and economic approach to detect unintended effects in GM crops.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)102-104
    Number of pages3
    JournalTrends in Biotechnology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • genetically modified (GM)
    • plants
    • metabolomics
    • human health
    • metabolic profiling


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