Is the EP2 gene mutations on fruits and vegetables the cause of LTP allergy?
Is the lipid-transferring protein, causing allergies, modified by the ep2 gene for resistance to pests, fungi etc?
Outside United States
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.
Extension Professor and Provost's Distinguished Service Professor
Councilor at Large, American Phytopathological SocietyUK Coordinator, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE