Lack of detectable allergenicity of transgenic maize and soya samples

Rita Batista, Baltazar Nunes, Manuela Carmo, Carlos Cardoso, Helena São José, António Bugalho De Almeida, Alda Manique, Leonor Bento, Cândido Pinto Ricardo, Maria Margarida Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The safety issues regarding foods derived from genetically modified (GM) plants are central to their acceptance into the food supply. The potential allergenicity of proteins newly introduced in GM foods is a major safety concern. Objective: We sought to monitor, in potentially sensitive human populations, the allergenicity effects of 5 GM materials obtained from sources with no allergenic potential and already under commercialization in the European Union. Methods: We have performed skin prick tests with protein extracts prepared from transgenic maize (MON810, Bt11, T25, Bt176) and soya (Roundup Ready) samples and from nontransgenic control samples in 2 sensitive groups: children with food and inhalant allergy and individuals with asthma-rhinitis. We have also tested IgE immunoblot reactivity of sera from patients with food allergy to soya (Roundup Ready) and maize (MON810, Bt11, Bt176) samples, as well as to the pure transgenic proteins (CryIA[b] and CP4 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3- phosphate synthase). Results: None of the individuals undergoing tests reacted differentially to the transgenic and nontransgenic samples under study. None of the volunteers tested presented detectable IgE antibodies against pure transgenic proteins. Conclusion: The transgenic products under testing seem to be safe in terms of allergenic potential. We propose postmarket testing as an important screening strategy for putative allergic sensitization to proteins introduced in transgenic plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalJournal Of Allergy And Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Allergenicity
  • Food safety
  • Immune response
  • Public health
  • Recombinant DNA technology
  • Transgenic food


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