Genetically modified foods and social concerns

How has genetic engineering changed plant and animal breeding?

Did you know?

Genetic engineering is often used in combination with traditional breeding khổng lồ produce the genetically engineered plant varieties on the market today.

Bạn đang xem: Genetically modified foods and social concerns

For thousands of years, humans have sầu been using traditional modification methods like selective breeding và cross-breeding to lớn breed plants and animals with more desirable traits. For example, early farmers developed cross-breeding methods lớn grow corn with a range of colors, sizes, và uses. Today’s strawberries are a cross between a strawberry species native sầu lớn North America & a strawberry species native sầu lớn South America.

Most of the foods we eat today were created through traditional breeding methods. But changing plants & animals through traditional breeding can take a long time, và it is difficult to make very specific changes. After scientists developed genetic engineering in the 1970s, they were able to lớn make similar changes in a more specific way & in a shorter amount of time.

A Timeline of Genetic Modification in Agriculture

A Timeline of Genetic Modification in Modern Agriculture



Circa 8000 BCE Humans use traditional modification methods lượt thích selective breeding & cross-breeding khổng lồ breed plants and animals with more desirable traits.

1866 Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk, breeds two different types of peas and identifies the basic process of genetics.

1922 The first hybrid corn is produced và sold commercially.

1940 Plant breeders learn lớn use radiation or chemicals khổng lồ randomly change an organism’s DNA.

1953 Building on the discoveries of chemist Rosalind Franklin, scientists James Watson & Francis Crick identify the structure of DNA.

1973 Biochemists Herbert Boyer & Stanley Cohen develop genetic engineering by inserting DNA from one bacteria into lớn another.

1982 approves the first consumer GMO product developed through genetic engineering: human insulin to lớn treat diabetes.

1986 The federal government establishes the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biocông nghệ. This policy describes how the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) work together to lớn regulate the safety of GMOs.

Xem thêm: Bài Học Chớp Thời Cơ Là Gì, Bài Học Về Nắm Bắt Và Vận Dụng Thời Cơ

1992 policy states that foods from GMO plants must meet the same requirements, including the same safety standards, as foods derived from traditionally bred plants.

1994 The first GMO produce created through genetic engineering—a GMO tomato—becomes available for sale after studies evaluated by federal agencies proved it khổng lồ be as safe as traditionally bred tomatoes.

1990s The first wave sầu of GMO produce created through genetic engineering becomes available khổng lồ consumers: summer squash, soybeans, cotton, corn, papayas, tomatoes, potatoes, và canola. Not all are still available for sale.

2003 The World Health Organization (WHO) và the Food và Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations develop international guidelines và standards lớn determine the safety of GMO foods.

2005  GMO alfalfa & sugar beets are available for sale in the United States.

2015 approves an application for the first genetic modification in an animal for use as food, a genetically engineered saltháng.


năm 2016  Congress passes a law requiring labeling for some foods produced through genetic engineering and uses the term “bioengineered,” which will start lớn appear on some foods.

2017  GMO apples are available for sale in the U.S.

2019 completes consultation on first food from a genome edited plant.

How are GMOs made?

“GMO” (genetically modified organism) has become the comtháng term consumers và popular truyền thông media use to describe foods that have sầu been created through genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is a process that involves:

Identifying the genetic information—or “gene”—that gives an organism (plant, animal, or microorganism) a desired traitCopying that information from the organism that has the traitThen growing the new organism

How Are GMOs Made? Fact Sheet

Making a GMO Plant, Step by Step

The following example gives a general idea of the steps it takes khổng lồ create a GMO plant. This example uses a type of insect-resistant corn called “Bt corn.” Keep in mind that the processes for creating a GMO plant, animal, or microorganism may be different.



To produce a GMO plant, scientists first identify what trait they want that plant lớn have sầu, such as resistance khổng lồ drought, herbicides, or insects. Then, they find an organism (plant, animal, or microorganism) that already has that trait within its genes. In this example, scientists wanted to create insect-resistant corn khổng lồ reduce the need khổng lồ spray pesticides. They identified a gen in a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which produces a natural insecticide that has been in use for many years in traditional & organic agriculture.