There will be a flurry of research into the effects of food DNA on our health...
EVER since we began farming some 10,000 years ago, we have been genetically modifying the plants we eat. Now it seems that plants have been toggling our genetic switches too, by slipping bits of RNA into our intestines and bloodstreams (see "Eating your greens alters your genes").
The idea that the genetic information in the plants we eat alters our health is startling, not least because we now alter food in a way that was not possible by conventional breeding. However, let's keep a sense of proportion. There is no reason that genetic information from GM crops would find its way into our blood more readily than that from unmodified plants.
If the new study's findings are validated, we may well discover that our bodies are swimming with genetic information from food - plant and animal, organic and genetically modified alike.
At the very least, there will be a flurry of research into the effects of food DNA on our health. The potential benefits go beyond understanding novel adverse effects to realising novel opportunities too. The foreign DNA and RNA that we ingest could well present us with new ways to make medicines.