Monday, August 5, 2013

5 Surprising Genetically Modified Foods

Leaving aside the question of whether they're good or bad for a moment, what exactly are GMOs, and which foods are they in?

Golden rice 

GE rice may soon be approved for human consumption.

By now, you've likely heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the controversy over whether they're the answer to world hunger or the devil incarnate. But for right now, let's leave aside that debate and turn to a more basic question: When you go to the supermarket, do you know which foods are most likely to be—or contain ingredients that are—genetically engineered? A handy FAQ:

So what exactly are genetically modified organisms?
GMOs are plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides.

But haven't farmers been selectively breeding crops to get larger harvests for centuries? How is this any different?
Over at Grist, Nathanael Johnson has a great answer to this question—but in a nutshell: Yes, farmers throughout history have been raising their plants to achieve certain desired traits such as improved taste, yield, or disease resistance. But this kind of breeding still relies on the natural reproductive processes of the organisms, where as genetic engineering involves the addition of foreign genes that would not occur in nature.
 
For the rest of the story: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/08/what-are-gmos-and-why-should-i-care

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