The mainstream view in the published scientific literature is that genetically modified foods pose no more of a risk to human health than conventional foods. But that raises a question: who is conducting these studies?
A good portion of the research on GM foods is funded by the companies developing these products. But there’s also a lot of independent research, as well. For instance, the Genetic Engineering Risk Atlas (GENERA) has documented more than 1,000 scientific studies looking into the safety of GM foods. Of those, independently funded studies make up about one-third of the list.
There’s also the question of research access. Companies like Monsanto typically license out their products to universities for study. But in the past, some researchers have complained that they can’t get access, or that permission gets pulled if they conduct a study the company doesn’t like. In 2009, however, many companies responded by relaxing their restrictions on sharing seeds for research, although it’s still unclear if that resolved all the outstanding issues. See here for more.