GM crop safety - - Chromatography Online
GM crop safety

The Column
Volume 8, Issue 21

The world’s population is predicted by the UN to reach seven billion by 2013.1 A proposed solution to increase food production has been the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops, which has faced strong opposition. A group of investigators in the USA2 recently published a study indicating that environmental changes have a greater impact than genetic modifications on the metabolome of crop plants

Dr V.M. Asiago told The Column: “As the population continues to grow, we need to use all the tools available to ensure there is enough food to meet global demand. GM crops are expected to play a critical role in meeting this need. GM crops have been examined for safety for more than 20 years now using targeted assays. Before metabolomics can be used for safety assessments of crops developed using biotechnology, it is necessary to understand the biological variation of metabolites in non-GM crops as a result of a different environment and genetic background.”

The investigators collected 654 grain samples and 695 forage samples from several sites in the USA and Canada, and measured the levels of 156 metabolites in grain and 185 in forage using gas chromatography (GC) coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS). Multivariate statistics were used to identify a 2% change in the metabolome in non-genetically modified maize, whereas a change in location introduced a 50% change in the metabolome. This indicated that genetic modification had a minor effect on the metabolome when compared to the changes induced by factors of the natural environment.

1. United Nations Information Service, (Accessed: 5th of November:

2. V M. Asiago et al., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, DOI: 10.1021/f303873a (2012).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.


blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters
Global E-newsletters subscribe here:



Sample Prep Perspectives | Ronald E. Majors:

LCGC Columnist Ron Majors, established authority on new column technologies, keeps readers up-to-date with new sample preparation trends in all branches of chromatography and reviews developments in existing technology lines.

LATEST: The Role of Selectivity in Extractions: A Case Study

History of Chromatography | Industry Veterans:

With each installment of this column, a different industry veteran covers an aspect of the evolution and continued development of the science of chromatography, from its birth to its eventual growth into the high-powered industry we see today.

LATEST: Georges Guiochon: Separation Science Innovator

MS — The Practical Art| Kate Yu:
Kate Yu is the editor of 'MS-The Practical Art' bringing her expertise in the field of mass spectrometry and hyphenated techniques to the pages of LCGC. In this column she examines the mass spectrometric side of coupled liquid and gas-phase systems. Troubleshooting-style articles provide readers with invaluable advice for getting the most from their mass spectrometers.

LATEST: Mass Spectrometry for Natural Products Research: Challenges, Pitfalls, and Opportunities

LC Troubleshooting | John Dolan:

LC Troubleshooting sets about making HPLC methods easier to master. By covering the basics of liquid chromatography separations and instrumentation, John Dolan, Vice President of LC Resources and world renowned expert on HPLC, is able to highlight common problems and provide remedies for them.

LATEST: LC Method Scaling, Part I: Isocratic Separations

More LCGC Chromatography-Related Columnists>>

LCGC North America Editorial Advisory Board>>

LCGC Europe Editorial Advisory Board>>

LCGC Editorial Team Contacts>>

Source: The Column,
Click here