GENTECH archive


Is substantial equivalence scientific ?

It appears that in reviewing GM foods for consumption the relevant bodies
look to see if the novel food is "substantially equivalent" to an existing
natural product.

Is there a definition of exactly what "substantially equivalent" means in
terms of a genetically modified organism.

I don't see how such a term can have any scientific meaning unless it
relates to specific properties of the organism which can be measured. The
word "substantially" also implies that there is some way of knowing if
differences in the measured properties are significant or not.

Perhaps somebody could shed some light on this. It would be particularly
interesting if there were examples of foods that passed, failed and were
considered as borderline against this test.