COMMENT FROM PROF JOE CUMMINS
(full paper details and abstract below)
Transgenic DNA fragments from Cry1AB maize was detected in blood, spleen, liver, kidney and muscles of piglets fed GM maize. However, the method of isolating the cellular DNA, though very effective, did not tell whether or not the transgenic DNA fragments were joined to chromosomal DNA or whether they were free in the cells or their nuclei.
Earlier studies from Germany showed that bacterial viral DNA fragments from food were inserted into the chromasomal DNA molecules of mammals . Further work is needed to detect transgenic DNA integrated into the cells chromosomes.
Finally, the report claimed that health risks from isolated DNA have never been detected but that conclusion is wrong!
Isolated bacterial DNA or DNA fragments injected, inhaled or eaten are know to promote inflammation and autoimmunity through the CpG stimulation of innate immunity.There are hundreds of publications dealing with that effect.
Assessing the Transfer of Genetically Modified DNA from Feed to Animal Tissues
Raffaele Mazza1, 2 , Mirko Soave1, Mauro Morlacchini, 3, Gianfranco Piva2 and Adriano Marocco1
(1) Instituto di Agronomia generale e Coltivazioni erbacee, Universita Cattolica S. Cuore, Via E. Parmense, 84, Piacenza, 29100, Italy
(2) Istituto di Scienze degli Alimenti e della Nutrizione, Universita Cattolica S. Cuore, Via E. Parmense, 84, Piacenza, 29100 , Italy
(3) Centro Ricerche per la Zootecnica e l'Ambiente (CERZOO), Loc, Possessione di Fondo - S. Bonico, Piacenza, 29100, Italy
Received: 13 October 2004 Accepted: 17 June 2005
ISSN: 0962-8819 (Paper) 1573-9368 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/s11248-005-0009-5 Issue: Volume 14, Number 5
Date: October 2005
Pages: 775 - 784
Abstract In Europe, public and scientific concerns about the environmental and food safety of GM (Genetically Modified) crops overshadow the potential benefits offered by crop biotechnology to
improve food quality. One of the concerns regarding the use of GM food in human and animal nutrition is the effect that newly introduced sequences may have on the organism. In this paper, we assess the potential transfer of diet-derived DNA to animal tissues after consumption of GM plants. Blood, spleen, liver, kidney and muscle tissues from piglets fed for 35 days with diets containing either GM (MON810) or a conventional maize were investigated for the presence of plant DNA. Only fragments of specific maize genes (Zein, Sh-2) could be detected with different frequencies in all the examined tissues except muscle. A small fragment of the Cry1A(b) transgene was detected in blood, liver, spleen and kidney of the animals raised with the transgenic feed. The intact Cry1A(b) gene or its minimal functional unit were never detected. Statistical analysis of the results showed no difference in recovery of positives for the presence of plant DNA between animals raised with the transgenic feed and animals raised with the conventional feed, indicating that DNA transfer may occur independently from the source and the type of the gene. From the data obtained, we consider it unlikely that the occurrence of genetic transfer associated with GM plants is higher than that from conventional plants.