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Genetically Modified Organism(GMO) Good or Bad?

Flickr. Image by Mary Murray showing a genetically modified tomato.

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To have a better understanding of GMO please read the article below.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genes have been deliberately engineered to change their traits in some way or another.

Genetic manipulation has been in existence for a long time, they have been used thousands of years ago by people. The process of artificial selection also known as selective breeding has been done by humans for a long time which is also a process of genetic manipulation.

GMOs can be easily explained as: Genetically to refer to genes. Genes are composed of DNA, which includes a series of instructions about how cells grow and develop. Next, it’s modified. It means that there has been an improvement or tweak. We’ve got the term Organism. Lots of people only think of crops when it comes to GMOs. But an ‘organism’ is not just a plant; it applies to all living organisms, bacteria and fungi included.

Examples of organisms that can be genetically modified are food, animal feed, protein, livestock animals, and salmon.

There are lots of countries who genetically modify their food. The USA is on top of the chart as it is the country that produces more of the GMO food.

Since GMOs were approved for commercial use, and then first planted into U.S. soil in 1996, their production has drastically increased. Used to cultivate genetically-modified crops is 90 percent of all soybean cotton and corn acreage in the US. Other food crops that are common and approved include sugar beets, alfalfa, canola, papaya, and summer squash. More recently, the FDA has also approved apples that don’t go brown and bruise-free potatoes.

The graph below shows the growth of GMOs in the US.

Graph by the United States Department of Agriculture
Economic Research Service. Showing the adoption of GMOs.

The public is much less likely to view GM foods as healthy than scientists do. The legal and regulatory status of GM foods varies by region, with some nations prohibiting or limiting them, and others allowing them to be regulated with widely varying degrees.

In an interview with Dr. Peter Goldsbrough, Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University He stated that as far as research on the GMOs go they are safe to consume, but there may be long term effects of the GMOs to the human body. The video below shows his interview in detail.

Some food such as corn and soy has been modified to tolerate different herbicides which is one of the concerns of people who think that genetically modified food are not safe for human consumption.

For individuals who want to avoid buying GMO food, the Down To Earth organization has given tips on how to identify such food when shopping. Click here to find out.

Please leave a comment below or ask any question and I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge. Thanks.

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