What Makes Genetically Modified Food? Essay

1853 Words Mar 29th, 2016 8 Pages
What is Genetically Modified Food?
Genetically modified (GM) foods are defined as "foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism" (WHO, 2015). Genetic engineering (also called modern biotechnology or gene technology) performs this modification. The specific genes selected from one organism are transferred to another within different species such as animals, plants, bacteria, and so on, resulting in a modified organism which carries enhanced desirable traits. These traits include more nutrients, faster growth, stronger resistance to diseases and insects, longer storage life, and other purposes. For instance, scientist inserted a gene from a bacteria which can resist certain types of insects such as beetles into tomatoes. In present days, the most common GM foods are corn, soybean, sugar beets, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, oils, golden rice, salmon, honey, cotton, meat, and so on.
GM foods can be traced back thousands years ago when people chose certain quality crops to plant rather than others. During ancient time, human could only employ cross-breeding or artificial selection to make plants modified as they desired due to limited technology and natural conditions. Therefore, at that time, the modified foods were natural based production. Modern GM technology has begun the development since the creation of recombinant DNA in 1973. Then in…

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