Those chemicals that are added to food during modern processing are most stringently examined for toxic effects and, if they demonstrate toxicity, are strictly controlled. Despite this, a considerable proportion of the North American human cancer burden has been associated with diet and nutrition. The possible contributions of excess calories, excess and wrongly balanced fats, natural contaminants, and naturally occurring carcinogens within the food supply to this horrendous burden of cancer is considered. The theoretically possible use of bioengineering techniques to modify the composition of food crops and thus to minimize the levels of carcinogens in the food supply is discussed. This is considered important since failure to monitor the effect of bioengineering may lead to an increase in the level of such noxious agents, especially if the goal of such bioengineering is to develop food crops with increased intrinsic resistance to pests and other spoilage organisms.

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