Genetically Modified Organisms ( Gmos )

1587 Words Feb 12th, 2016 7 Pages
The genetic engineering of plants is looming as one of the greatest and most intractable challenges of the 21st Century. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been with us for some forty years, yet they are difficult to understand. Despite the fact that much has been written about them, controversy still surrounds their production and consumption.

GMOs are the result of genetic engineering, also known as genetic modification, which is the “deliberate, controlled manipulation of genes in an organism with the intent of improving the organism” (Encyclopedia Britannica). This is usually accomplished independent of the natural reproductive process. Much of the genetic engineering effort has been focused on the production of food crops (such as corn, wheat and soy), that are resistant to extreme climates, insects and diseases. These GMO crops become part of our food supply through direct consumption or indirectly by the consumption of livestock and fish that have been fed GMO crops.

The production of GMOs in the farming and food sectors has grown rapidly in the past 20 years. If you live in United States, you are most likely eating GMOs and/or livestock who were fed GMOs. Eighty-eight percent of the corn grown in the U.S. has been genetically modified to be herbicide-resistant and/or insect-resistant (USDA, 2015). It has been estimated that upwards of seventy-five percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves – from soda to soup, crackers to condiments – contain…
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