The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly claimed GMO crops are safe to consume because of something they call “substantial equivalence”. What this means is the FDA considers GMO crops the same (substantially equivalent) as its organic counterpart because they share basic components (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates). Substantial equivalence allowed GMOs to be put on the “Generally Recognized as Safe” list under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), which allows for fast tracking of GMOs. However, in July, the peer-reviewed journal, AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, published a study, that shows GMOs are not he substantial equivalent to its organic counterpart.

The study, led by systems biologist, Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D., integrated 6,497 in vitro and in vivo laboratory experiments (on GMO soy), from 184 scientific institutions, across 23 countries. It shows there is without a doubt a big molecular differences between GMO soy and Non-GMO soy. This is seen most predominant in the form of much higher concentrations of the human carcinogen formaldehyde and a drastic depletion of the “master antioxidant” glutathione (as seen in the graphs below).


“The results demand immediate testing along with rigorous scientific standards to assure such testing is objective and replicable,” states Dr. Ayyadurai. “It’s unbelievable such standards for testing do not already exist. The safety of our food supply demands that science deliver such modern scientific standards for approval of GMOs.”

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“Are we following the scientific method to ensure the safety of our food supply?”  he asks.

“Right now, the answer is ‘no’. We need to, and we can, if we engage in open, transparent, and collaborative scientific discourse, based on a systems biology approach.”

The study concludes that the FDA’s claims of “substantial equivalence” is “outdated and unscientific for genetically engineered food since it was originally developed for assessing the safety of medical devices in the 1970s.  The current criteria for assessing “equivalence” considers only basic nutritional and superficial characteristics such as taste, sight, smell and touch, for declaring GMOs safe for human consumption, allowing them to be fast-tracked to market without independent scientific testing.  If formaldehyde and glutathione were criteria, then the GMO would likely not be deemed “equivalent” to its non-GMO counterpart.”.

This is not the only recent study or scientific paper questioning the safety of consuming GMO foods that also concludes more stringent scientific experiments on GMO crops are needed. However, this is the first study using the systems biology method, geared towards understanding the complexity of the whole organism as a system. The results are pretty troubling because the findings are so detrimental to our health and the fact that it only looks at soy, which 90% of all soy crops in America are GMO.

As we start seeing more system biology studies on different GMOs, I fully expect to see very similar results, which hopefully will lead to the outright banning of GMOs worldwide.