Genetic Engineering And Traditional Breeding Methods Essay

709 Words Feb 16th, 2016 3 Pages
Since the beginning of agriculture, humans have exploited and altered the genetic information in plants and animals to create new biological variations through artificial selection and crossbreeding. The main difference between genetic engineering and traditional breeding methods is that genetic engineering allows for us to isolate, copy, turn on, and introduce genes into other organisms. (Jones) This is done by identifying the gene of interests, isolating that trait, inserting that trait into a desired organism, and then propagating that organism. (Powell)
There are three types of genetic modification: 1) Transgenic – plants that have genes from another species; 2) Cisgenic – plants that are made by using genes from the same species or a closely related specie; and 3) Subgenic – a crop whose entire genome has been edited. In recent years, several regulatory bodies and states have attempted to require labeling of foods containing ingredients that have been modified. However, the concept of a “genetically modified organism,” also known as a GMO, has been difficult to properly define by regulatory law because it is an imprecise category used to classify products that have had their genetic content engineered to cancel undesirable traits or express desired or added traits. (Tagliabue)
What genes are modified and what genes are modified for varies from case to case. In agriculture, there are eight GM crops available in the U.S.: Alfalfa, Canola, Corn (field and sweet),…

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