What does GMO mean?
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. The most familiar genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are modified with transgenic techniques, which have been available since the mid-90s. These GMOs are essentially living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Products of new genetic engineering techniques (e.g., CRISPR, TALEN, RNA interference, ODM, and gene drives) are also GMOs.
What modifications are made to GMOs? What do they do?
Most GMOs have been engineered to withstand the direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. However, new techniques (such as CRISPR, RNAi, ODM) are now being used to artificially develop other traits in plants, including resistance to browning in potatoes, and to create new organisms.
Aren’t all crops genetically modified because they change over time?
No. Genetically modified organisms are distinct from crops that have been bred using traditional crossbreeding methods. GMOs are only created through the use of genetic engineering or biotechnology, not through processes that could occur in nature. Regardless of whether foreign DNA is used, any process where nucleic acid is engineered in a laboratory is genetic engineering, and the resulting products are GMOs. This also includes what is sometimes referred to as “synthetic biology” or “synbio.”
What food is GMO?
Some crops have genetically modified versions that are widely commercially produced. These are alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, potato, soy, sugar beet, and zucchini.
Many GMO crops are refined and turned into processed ingredients such as: corn starch, corn syrup, canola oil, sugar, molasses, soy lecithin, soy hemoglobin, citric acid, cellulose, maltodextrin, flavorings, vitamins, and anything that says “vegetable” but is not specific.
Source credit: https://livingnongmo.org/learn/gmo-faq/
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