br Concluding remarks Overall the achievements
Concluding remarks Overall, the achievements in food toxicology in the last decades have been significant gaining a deeper understanding of the molecular mode of action by which toxic effects are induced. These mechanistic insights have helped to identify potential toxicants thus enhancing food safety. The list of toxicants is growing and comprises a heterogeneous groups of simple or complex molecules which play different roles in toxicological pathways. In Table 3 representative toxicants derived from different sources are listed. Major advances in biotechnology in the use of high-throughput, high content testing programs, -omics technologies, computational toxicology, as well as the establishment of prediction models focusing on quantitative structure–activity relationships (QSAR) have augmented our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of how food molecules affect targets of key biological pathways thus inducing toxicity. Mining, integration and correlation analysis of toxicological data throughout in vitro biochemical and cell-based models, in vivo animal as well as clinical settings are leading to a better predictivity of complex in vitro cell-based models as essential part of in silico systems. Evaluation of complex data obtained by high-throughput and high-content screening technologies utilizing algorithms-based software is now possible through major accomplishments in bioinformatics. Human in silico models have the advantage that they do not have issues with interspecies extrapolation and complex toxicological end points. These models can often be analyzed to yield a few specific pathways in specific target organs. Another positive trend in food toxicology is the increased usage of alternative lower surrogate animal models such as the zebrafish (D. rerio), the nematode C. elegans and the kit inhibitor fly (D. melagonaster). The discovery of a higher degree of evolutionary conservation of homologous genes between humans and lower vertebrate or invertebrates than assumed decades ago has allowed for a decrease of rodent animal models in favor of alternative animal models for use in food toxicology. The use of these non-traditional organisms offers advantages in the absence of ethical concerns with genetic manipulation, organ toxicology, as well as providing higher throughput and lower costs over mammalian models, in particular rodents. Due to the positive developments in food toxicology assessment in the last two decades, but also because of ethical and extrapolability concerns as well as an increase of test candidates, there has been a paradigm shift to reduce animal testing. By virtue of the establishment of predictive in silico toxicity assessment tools the traditional endpoint testing moved toward a mechanism-based approach. Although evaluation of toxicants through complex in vitro human cell-based models embedded in in silico methods are now being increasingly recognized as predictive tools, there will be a continuous need for comparison with traditional in vivo testing. In particular, testing of new food ingredients by rodents or larger vertebrates will be inevitable to identify whole-animal and mechanistic organ level responses to integrate new data into in silico software systems. Recently, organotypic systems and stem cell-based assays are being discussed as very promising sources for various toxicological applications. Although still in early development the long-term potential for these approaches to predict acute toxicity is very high. The application of these or other models will help to further answer fundamental biological questions and pave the road toward the goal of higher specificity and accuracy aiming for a reduction of animal toxicological testing.
Introduction In July 2011, a group of protesters from Greenpeace, a non-governmental, environmental organization, broke into an experimental farm of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), an Australian federal government agency for scientific research, and destroyed the entire crop of genetically modified wheat. In August 2013, a research field of Golden Rice managed by the Philippine Government\'s International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and other public sector partners was attacked by anti-GMO (Genetically-Modified Organisms) activists. “Golden Rice” expresses high levels of beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) thanks to its modified genetic properties. After 25 years’ bench work in the laboratory, Golden Rice, designed as a cheap and effective way to deliver dietary source of vitamin A for developing areas of the world, had finally reached the point where field trials were practical . Although different in many ways from the 2011 CSIRO break-in, the 2013 incident triggered strong condemnation by the scientific community, though that reaction failed to achieve consensus among public voices. The fundamental reason for the failure is the continuing lack of comprehensive understanding of current agricultural problems and the nature of GMO. In this review, starting with the history of GMO, we address the motivation for GMO (including GM foods), their benefits and risks, as well as the impact of recent technology developments on GMO/GM foods.