Is the EP2 gene mutations on fruits and vegetables the cause of LTP allergy?

Asked January 3, 2017, 8:50 AM EST

Is the lipid-transferring protein, causing allergies, modified by the ep2 gene for resistance to pests, fungi etc?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC160059/

Outside United States gmo allergies

1 Response

Hello. I appreciate your concern over food safety, and I share it.

I am not aware of any connection between EP2 mutations and allergies, based on the literature I have looked at, including the National Academy of Sciences comprehensive review of genetically engineered crops (=GMOs) (https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23395/genetically-engineered-crops-experiences-and-prospects). The paper cited in your email (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC160059/) relates to an EP2 from carrot, a crop which has never been genetically engineered (GE) for commercial use. The protein EP2 is not the protein (EPSPS) engineered into in Roundup-Ready crops (GE). Only one lipid transfer protein was listed in a widely referenced allergen database (http://www.allergenonline.org/index.shtml), and that was lipid transfer protein P3 from grape, another crop never genetically engineered for commercial use. I don’t see any connection that would raise my concerns for consuming GE crops.

Sometimes plausible-sounding claims are propagated through the social media, though they may not have a scientific basis. Based on the information provided, I suspect this is the case here. However, if scientifically credible information is presented that provides reason for concern, I certainly remain open to revising my assessment based on credible scientific information.

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Paul Vincelli

Extension Professor and Provost's Distinguished Service Professor

Councilor at Large, American Phytopathological Society

UK Coordinator, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE