Dr. Gurian-Sherman* has made it clear that GM side-effects can never be eliminated.
Unintended effects of artificial DNA modification can arise in many way, for example:
- The position of the forced change in the genome can disrupt the function of neighbouring DNA, and this in turn can disrupt multiple, interacting biochemical pathways.
- Gaps or DNA scrambling may arise in the plant's genome
- Extra DNA fragments can be scattered around in the genome
- During the transformation procedure, cells are grown in a culture flask outside the stabilising influence of the living whole-plant: they emerge full of genetic errors.
A GM plant could, theoretically, have all of these side-effects. A gene-edited plant could, theoretically have most of them, depending on the nature of the edit and the technique used.
A newly-created GM plant will be repeatedly bred with its parent strain for several generations to remove some types of these spurious disruptions.
A GM plant which isn't bred but is cloned from the previous crop, such as the potato, will always have all the side effects it started off with .
Few research studies are designed to reveal unintended effects, especially if these only become apparent under environmental stress or after subsequent breeding into a different genome.
Harmful interactions between the DNA in the cell nucleus and the DNA in other vital structures in the cell* are possible and even probable.
*Note. DNA-containing structures in the plant cell include 'mitochondria' which provide the cell's energy, and 'chloroplasts' which capture sunlight to provide the cell with sugar.
A timely reminder why you should keep demanding GM-free food in 2019.
Check out GM Freeze current campaigns www.gmfreeze.org.
 IS PANDORA A MYTH? - December 2018
*Gurian-sherman is a research consultant with Minneapolis-based 'Strategic Expansion and Training', which focuses on supporting ecologically based sustainable agriculture.
- Cleaning up after GM: Is it possible?, GM Watch, 12.11.18
- Nancy A. Eckhardt, March 2006, Cytoplasmic Male Sterility and Fertility Restoration, The Plant Cell
Image: Creative Commons