GMOs are the transgenic organisms used extensively in biotechnology. It is still a topic of debate for the community. GMOs have their own merits and demerits. In this article, we would explain: what are GMO?
What is a GMO?
A “Genetically Modified Organism”(GMO) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Because this process involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.
Presence of GMO
GMOs are made to increase yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition of the crop or animal products. It is clear that GMOs are present in the vast majority of processed foods. They are also banned in some countries and states worldwide. Most packaged foods contain ingredients derived from corn, soy, canola, and sugar beet are genetically modified.
Examples of Genetically Engineered Foods:
Corn: Corn also makes the list of the most genetically modified foods. Most of the corn is utilized for human consumption and animal feed with increased nutrition.
Cotton: Cotton is very susceptible to diseases, insects, and pests. It is heavily modified to boost yields and resistance to pests and diseases. One of the examples is Bt. Cotton.
Milk: These days, dairy cows are increasingly being genetically modified with growth hormones to enable faster growth and increase the beef quantity of yields.
Papaya: Hawaii is known as a place where genetically modified papaya trees have been cultivated. The reason for modifying these papayas is the Papaya Ringspot virus that has caused havoc for many years. Also, Hawaii papayas have been modified to slow down their maturity to accord suppliers sufficient time to ship to the market.
Soy: Over 90% of soybeans available in the marketplace today are genetically engineered to naturally resist a herbicide.