Could genetically modified plants mean the end of peanut allergies? Stephen Daniells of Food Navigator explains:
"An example would be to introduce anti-sense RNA copies of the allergen gene into the peanut plant to suppress allergen gene expression," stated Dr. Burks. "Post-translational gene silencing by mRNA degradation is another approach being investigated."I don’t know, high-tech plants can be pretty scary. Remember these, Food: Truth and Untruth in Advertising?
"The difficulty with this and similar approaches is that several peanut proteins are involved in IgE binding.
"The process of altering enough of the peanut allergens to make a modified peanut that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction would probably render the new peanut no longer a peanut," he added.
Despite offering a potentially life-saving solution for millions around the world, acceptance of GM peanuts is not guaranteed. The GM tag continues to be one of the biggest challenges for consumer acceptance, particularly in Europe and most notably in the UK.