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Optimizing the use of zebrafish feeding trials for the safety evaluation of genetically modified crops

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Abstract
In Europe, the toxicological safety of genetically modified (GM) crops is routinely evaluated using rodent feeding trials, originally designed for testing oral toxicity of chemical compounds. We aimed to develop and optimize methods for advancing the use of zebrafish feeding trials for the safety evaluation of GM crops, using maize as a case study. In a first step, we evaluated the effect of different maize substitution levels. Our results demonstrate the need for preliminary testing to assess potential feed component-related effects on the overall nutritional balance. Next, since a potential effect of a GM crop should ideally be interpreted relative to the natural response variation (i.e., the range of biological values that is considered normal for a particular endpoint) in order to assess the toxicological relevance, we established natural response variation datasets for various zebrafish endpoints. We applied equivalence testing to calculate threshold equivalence limits (ELs) based on the natural response variation as a method for quantifying the range within which a GM crop and its control are considered equivalent. Finally, our results illustrate that the use of commercial control diets (CCDs) and null segregant (NS) controls (helpful for assessing potential effects of the transformation process) would be valuable additions to GM safety assessment strategies.
Keywords
MODIFIED SOYBEAN-MEAL, ATLANTIC SALMON, DANIO-RERIO, GENE-EXPRESSION, RISK-ASSESSMENT, MAIZE MON810, GROWTH, PERFORMANCE, HEALTH, DIGESTIBILITY, food safety, genetically modified crops, zebrafish, feeding trial

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Chicago
Gabriels, Isabelle J, Lucia Vergauwen, Marthe De Boevre, Stefan Van Dongen, Ronny Blust, Sarah De Saeger, Mia Eeckhout, Marc De Loose, and Dries Knapen. 2019. “Optimizing the Use of Zebrafish Feeding Trials for the Safety Evaluation of Genetically Modified Crops.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20 (6).
APA
Gabriels, I. J., Vergauwen, L., De Boevre, M., Van Dongen, S., Blust, R., De Saeger, S., Eeckhout, M., et al. (2019). Optimizing the use of zebrafish feeding trials for the safety evaluation of genetically modified crops. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, 20(6).
Vancouver
1.
Gabriels IJ, Vergauwen L, De Boevre M, Van Dongen S, Blust R, De Saeger S, et al. Optimizing the use of zebrafish feeding trials for the safety evaluation of genetically modified crops. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES. 2019;20(6).
MLA
Gabriels, Isabelle J et al. “Optimizing the Use of Zebrafish Feeding Trials for the Safety Evaluation of Genetically Modified Crops.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES 20.6 (2019): n. pag. Print.
@article{8627466,
  abstract     = {In Europe, the toxicological safety of genetically modified (GM) crops is routinely evaluated using rodent feeding trials, originally designed for testing oral toxicity of chemical compounds. We aimed to develop and optimize methods for advancing the use of zebrafish feeding trials for the safety evaluation of GM crops, using maize as a case study. In a first step, we evaluated the effect of different maize substitution levels. Our results demonstrate the need for preliminary testing to assess potential feed component-related effects on the overall nutritional balance. Next, since a potential effect of a GM crop should ideally be interpreted relative to the natural response variation (i.e., the range of biological values that is considered normal for a particular endpoint) in order to assess the toxicological relevance, we established natural response variation datasets for various zebrafish endpoints. We applied equivalence testing to calculate threshold equivalence limits (ELs) based on the natural response variation as a method for quantifying the range within which a GM crop and its control are considered equivalent. Finally, our results illustrate that the use of commercial control diets (CCDs) and null segregant (NS) controls (helpful for assessing potential effects of the transformation process) would be valuable additions to GM safety assessment strategies.},
  articleno    = {1472},
  author       = {Gabriels, Isabelle J and Vergauwen, Lucia and De Boevre, Marthe and Van Dongen, Stefan and Blust, Ronny and De Saeger, Sarah and Eeckhout, Mia and De Loose, Marc and Knapen, Dries},
  issn         = {1422-0067},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES},
  keywords     = {MODIFIED SOYBEAN-MEAL,ATLANTIC SALMON,DANIO-RERIO,GENE-EXPRESSION,RISK-ASSESSMENT,MAIZE MON810,GROWTH,PERFORMANCE,HEALTH,DIGESTIBILITY,food safety,genetically modified crops,zebrafish,feeding trial},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {21},
  title        = {Optimizing the use of zebrafish feeding trials for the safety evaluation of genetically modified crops},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061472},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2019},
}

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