GMO stands for genetically modified organism, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a living thing in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology,” sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering.”
This allows individual genes to be selected and transferred from one organism to another as well as between non-related species (for example, wheat and tomatoes). These methods are used to create genetically modified plants/crops.
Today, crops that are most subject to genetic engineering are corn, soy, cotton, canola and sugar beets. The original goal of this technology was to strengthen varieties of crops, (especially those commodity crops just mentioned) and improve yields, but has since its inception sparked much debate among scientists, farmers, corporations, the food industry and the general public.
What are some of the issues and concerns about GMOs? Check out Post 2!