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Some GMO Basics

Michael Stebbins
August 20, 2019

Discussions about genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) are all over the mainstream media and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Lots of people have strong opinions about them. Some support the technology, while others adamantly oppose them.

But how much do people know about them?  Yes, certainly we have been modifying our food for thousands of years, and many of the crops we eat today, through various breeding methods, look much different than they did 50, 100, and 500 years ago. But GMOs are the product of a specific type of breeding method that was developed in the 1970s and 1980s and reached the marketplace starting in the 1990s. 25 years on the market. 40 years in R&D. When you think about it that way, this is not a new technology at all! Check out this breeding methods infographic from GMO Answers to learn a little bit more about the different ways that farmers, researchers, and plant scientists improve seeds and plants, from crossbreeding, to mutagenesis, to transgenesis.

 One other important thing to know about GMOs is that there are only 10 GMO crops on the market in the United States today.  Which ones? Tomatoes? Nope. Strawberries? Nope. Watermelon? Nope? Wheat? Big nope. Find out which are the 10 crops in this new video from GMO Answers:

The more you know the basics about GMOs, including other types of plant breeding, how we've modified our foods historically, and even which crops are GMO, the more you'll understand the technology.

To learn more about GMOs, please visit the GMO Answers website.