What Are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? Safety, Foods, and More


A GMO is a food or crop with genetic material that has been altered using biotechnology instead of selective breeding.

Although GMO may feel like a new term, manipulating the genetic makeup of the food we eat is anything but.

“Everything we buy in a supermarket has been genetically modified,” says Diane Beckles, PhD, a plant sciences professor and researcher at the University of California in Davis. Through selective breeding, “Humans have been changing the genetic makeup of plants for thousands of years.” As the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine explains, selective breeding involves mating plants with desirable traits so that future generations of the plant will have those traits.


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