Do GMOs accumulate formaldehyde?

Great analysis of the “Formaldehyde on GMOs” claim, also a nice perspective on how such claims should be analyzed!

Food Science Institute

edamame Soybeans or edamame

We recently came across this paper by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai and P. Deonikar titled “Do GMOs Acuumulate Formadehyde and Disrupt Molecular Systems Equilibria? Systems Biology May Provide Answers.” We decided that checking the credibility of this paper might make an interesting tutorial in scientific skepticism. To start with, we are only dealing with the evidence presented by the paper, and not any public claims the author has since made.

So let’s take a look at this paper’s claims and pedigree and see how we can decide how seriously to take it. It’s worth undertaking this little exercise, because it seems to indicate the genetically modified plants (in this case soybeans) produce significant levels of formaldehyde, which is at some level toxic, and frankly this seems quite unlikely to have just been discovered now.

Let’s start with some simple questions.

  1. Where was the paper published? In

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