Food With Gmo List

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Food With Gmo List

GMO stands for genetically modified organism. GMOs are organisms that have been genetically modified to make them more resistant to diseases, pests and weeds.

GMOs have been developed for a variety of uses, including facilitating the production of biofuels and as animal feed.

There are also many types of genetically modified crops grown for human consumption, including soybeans, corn, sugar beets, cottonseed and canola oil. The most common type of genetically modified food is probably corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is used to sweeten many processed foods.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any genetically modified foods for sale in the United States yet because they found no evidence that they are safe for human consumption. However, many countries around the world do allow them on their shelves so there’s no telling when or if we’ll see any new GMO foods here at home!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new food labeling rules for genetically modified food products went into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

The big difference for consumers is that they’ll no longer see the words “GMO,” which stands for genetically modified organisms.

Instead, they’ll see a round green label that says “bioengineered” or “derived from bioengineering” or a label with a phone number or QR code to provide more information.

A USDA spokesperson said the change will bring uniformity to food labeling, which up to now depended on “a patchwork” of state regulations, The Washington Post reported.

The rule went into effect in 2020, but the compliance deadline was Jan. 1, 2022.

Some of the old official certifications will remain, such as “USDA Organic” and “NON-GMO Project Verified.” Dietary supplement manufacturers must follow the labeling rules, though restaurants do not, The Post said.

The Center for Food Safety and other advocacy groups say the labeling doesn’t go far enough and is unfair to people without smartphones who won’t be able to scan the QR codes. The USDA won’t perform in-store checks to ensure compliance but will rely on consumer complaints instead.

“The already overburdened consumer is going to have to spend four times as much time in the supermarket reading labels,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, told The Post. “And now they’ll have to be USDA citizen investigators to make sure this law has some consequences.”

Food companies urged the government to delay implementation of the rule.

“We believe the government must take a ‘do no harm’ position right now that allows companies to focus on delivering essential products to consumers,” Betsy Booren of the Consumer Brands Association, a trade group, told The Post.

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard defines bioengineered foods as “those that contain detectable genetic material that has been modified through certain lab techniques and cannot be created through conventional breeding or found in nature,” according to the USDA website.

Things You Need to Know About the New GMO Food Label

As of January 1, 2022, food that’s been previously known as a GMO or genetically engineered food will have a new “Bioengineered (BE)” label. If the term leaves you confused or searching your favorite online encyclopedia, you’re not alone. Critics of the new legislation are concerned that the new GMO “rebrand” may cause even more confusion and less transparency than its predecessor.

The Center for Food Safety, a San Francisco–based nonprofit whose stated mission is to protect the earth from “harmful impacts of industrial agriculture,” has already filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down this and other labeling laws instituted by the Trump administration. 

“Consumers have fought for decades for their right to know what’s in their food and how it’s produced,” stated Meredith Stevenson, an attorney for the center, in a press release. “But instead of providing meaningful labeling, USDA’s final rules will only create more uncertainty for consumers, retailers, and manufacturers.”

Most consumers are familiar with the term that “bioengineered” replaced — GMO, which stands for genetically modified organism. A GMO is a “plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology,” which results in combinations of plant, animal, bacterial, and virus genes that don’t occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods, according to the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit that aims to inform the public about what is in their food and how to access non-GMO choices (and whose verification seal has been one of the most prominent ways to identify non-GMO packaged foods).

The definition of a bioengineered food is quite similar. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a bioengineered (BE) food is “food that contains genetic material that has been modified through certain laboratory techniques and for which the modification could not be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.” Despite this definition, some exemptions in the BE labeling mandate mean that many foods that contain GMOs by current standards may not have to be labeled that way under the new guidelines (see items 3 and 4 below).

Keep reading to learn what a BE label means for you and your health, and how to spot foods that aren’t bioengineered.

1. Although the New Labeling Requirements Are Different, Your Food Is Still the Same 

These labels — both the Non-GMO Project label and the new Bioengineered label — are marketing tools, says Peter Goldsbrough, PhD, a professor of botany and plant pathology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, who specializes in GMOs and GMO educational practices. “If you read the USDA position on this, it’s clear the labels are for marketing purposes, to let consumers know what they’re buying,” says Dr. Goldsbrough. Unfortunately, this new terminology may confuse people. “Most consumers are already unclear about what GMO means, and this will probably add to that,” he says.

Still, the new labeling doesn’t change anything about the composition of the food we’re purchasing and eating, Goldsbrough says. Humans have been genetically modifying crops using selection and breeding since agriculture began, over 11,000 years ago. “The types of food ingredients that have been genetically engineered or bioengineered are going to remain the same,” he says, “and there will be new foods added as the technology continues to develop.”

2. There Is No Evidence That GMO or Bioengineered Foods Pose Any Health Risks

“I think one of the most important things that people need to know is that there are no health safety concerns about consuming GMO foods,” says Goldsbrough. “That’s the position of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA], the World Health Organization, the European Food Safety Agency — all these agencies have concluded that there’s no safety concerns with the genetically modified foods that are on the market today.” The presence — or absence — of a non-BE or Non-GMO label doesn’t mean that a food is healthy or unhealthy, he adds.

3. Not Every Food That Contains Ingredients From a Genetically Modified Crop Is Required to Have a Bioengineered Food Disclosure Label

Food items that contain ingredients that are considered “highly refined” — such as sugar and corn oil — don’t require bioengineering disclosure, so they’ll have no BE label. For example, when genetically modified corn is processed to make oil or corn syrup, the resulting “highly refined” ingredient shows no detectable DNA from the bioengineered crop, and therefore is not required to bear a bioengineered label. Excluding foods that use these ingredients makes the number of foods that will have a BE label considerably smaller, says Goldsbrough. “An awful lot of things contain corn or soybean oil.” 

Food industry and food advocacy groups are divided on the omission of these products, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, but the USDA decided that an ingredient is not a bioengineered food if the genetically modified material is undetectable, says Goldsbrough.

Advocates for disclosure claim that there is evidence that the highly refined ingredients contain genetic material, even if it’s not detectable. Many products made with newer GMO technologies such as CRISPR, TALEN, and RNAi are currently untestable and therefore don’t require a BE label, according to the Non-GMO Project.

Even though it’s not required, some companies may choose to disclose that they are using those highly refined ingredients that come from genetically modified crops, according to the USDA. These foods may state “Derived From Bioengineering” or “Ingredients Derived From a Bioengineered Source” on their label.

4. Some Foods Are Exempt From the New BE Labeling Law

Products made with meat, poultry, or eggs are exempt from the BE labeling law. Multi-ingredient products in which meat, poultry, or eggs are the first ingredient are also exempt, even if other ingredients in the product do have detectable levels of modified genetic material.

The USDA gives the example of a can of pork stew that also contains genetically modified sweet corn. If pork is the main ingredient and listed first on the ingredient panel, the can of stew wouldn’t be required to have a BE label because meat is exempt from the labeling requirement. If the stew lists water, broth, or stock as the first ingredient and pork as the second, that would also not require a BE label because water, stock, and broth don’t “count.” The only way the stew would earn a BE label is if there was more corn than pork in the stew.

Because the new bioengineered definition leaves out foods that contain the “highly refined” oils and sugars that are derived from genetically modified food as well as multi-ingredient foods (such as the pork stew example), the position of the Non-GMO Project is that “the Bioengineered Food labeling law is ineffective at finding GMOs and avoiding GMOs, largely because of restrictions, loopholes, and exemptions.”

5. Non-GMO Labels and Bioengineered Labels Will Coexist

Foods that have detectable modified genetic material and are considered bioengineered will be identified on their packaging or label with one or more of the following:

  • “Contains a Bioengineered Food Ingredient”
  • A symbol in black and white or color
  • An electronic (QR code) or digital link
  • A phone number that consumers can text

The Non-GMO Project label, which depicts an orange butterfly on a green blade of grass, will continue to be used on a voluntary basis by companies that wish to adhere to the group’s more stringent standards.

What GMO crops are grown and sold in the United States?

Only a few types of GMO crops are grown in the United States, but some of these GMOs make up a large percentage of the crop grown (e.g., soybeans, corn, sugar beets, canola, and cotton).

In 2018, GMO soybeans made up 94% of all soybeans planted, GMO cotton made up 94% of all cotton planted, and 92% of corn planted was GMO corn.

In 2013, GMO canola made up 95% of canola planted while GMO sugar beets made up 99.9% of all sugar beets harvested.

Most GMO plants are used to make ingredients that are then used in other food products, for example, cornstarch made from GMO corn or sugar made from GMO sugar beets.

GMO Crops

Corn:

Corn is the most commonly grown crop in the United States, and most of it is GMO. Most GMO corn is created to resist insect pests or tolerate herbicides. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn is a GMO corn that produces proteins that are toxic to certain insect pests but not to humans, pets, livestock, or other animals. These are the same types of proteins that organic farmers use to control insect pests, and they do not harm other, beneficial insects such as ladybugs. GMO Bt corn reduces the need for spraying insecticides while still preventing insect damage. While a lot of GMO corn goes into processed foods and drinks, most of it is used to feed livestock, like cows, and poultry, like chickens.

Soybean:

Most soy grown in the United States is GMO soy. Most GMO soy is used for food for animals, predominantly poultry and livestock, and making soybean oil. It is also used as ingredients (lecithin, emulsifiers, and proteins) in processed foods.

Cotton:

GMO cotton was created to be resistant to bollworms and helped revive the Alabama cotton industry. GMO cotton not only provides a reliable source of cotton for the textile industry, it is also used to make cottonseed oil, which is used in packaged foods and in many restaurants for frying. GMO cottonseed meal and hulls are also used in food for animals.

Potato:

Some GMO potatoes were developed to resist insect pests and disease. In addition, some GMO potato varieties have been developed to resist bruising and browning that can occur when potatoes are packaged, stored, and transported, or even cut in your kitchen. While browning does not change the quality of the potato, it often leads to food being unnecessarily thrown away because people mistakenly believe browned food is spoiled.

Papaya:

By the 1990s, ringspot virus disease had nearly wiped out Hawaii’s papaya crop, and in the process almost destroyed the papaya industry in Hawaii. A GMO papaya, named the Rainbow papaya, was created to resist ringspot virus. This GMO saved papaya farming on the Hawaiian Islands.

Summer Squash:

GMO summer squash is resistant to some plant viruses. Squash was one of the first GMOs on the market, but it is not widely grown.

Canola:

GMO canola is used mostly to make cooking oil and margarine. Canola seed meal can also be used in food for animals. Canola oil is used in many packaged foods to improve food consistency. Most GMO canola is resistant to herbicides and helps farmers to more easily control weeds in their fields.

Alfalfa:

GMO alfalfa is primarily used to feed cattle—mostly dairy cows. Most GMO alfalfa is resistant to herbicides, allowing farmers to spray the crops to protect them against destructive weeds that can reduce alfalfa production and lower the nutritional quality of the hay.

Apple:

A few varieties of GMO apples were developed to resist browning after being cut. This helps cut down on food waste, as many consumers think brown apples are spoiled.

Sugar Beet:

Sugar beets are used to make granulated sugar. More than half the granulated sugar packaged for grocery store shelves is made from GMO sugar beets. Because GMO sugar beets are resistant to herbicides, growing GMO sugar beets helps farmers control weeds in their fields.

What about animals that eat food made from GMO crops?

More than 95% of animals used for meat and dairy in the United States eat GMO crops. Independent studies show that there is no difference in how GMO and non-GMO foods affect the health and safety of animals. The DNA in the GMO food does not transfer to the animal that eats it. This means that animals that eat GMO food do not turn into GMOs. If it did, an animal would have the DNA of any food it ate, GMO or not. In other words, cows do not become the grass they eat and chickens don’t become the corn they eat.

Animals That Eat Food Made From GMO Crops

Similarly, the DNA from GMO animal food does not make it into the meat, eggs, or milk from the animal. Research shows that foods like eggs, dairy products, and meat that come from animals that eat GMO food are equal in nutritional value, safety, and quality to foods made from animals that eat only non-GMO food.

Who makes sure animal food is safe?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the primary regulatory agency responsible for ensuring the safety of GMO and non-GMO food for animals. The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine manages this responsibility. FDA requires that all food for animals, like food for human foods, be safe for animals to eat, be produced under clean conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be accurately labeled.

Are there GMO animals in the food supply?

There soon will be. FDA has approved an application that allows the marketing of the AquAdvantage Salmon, an Atlantic salmon that has been genetically modified to reach an important growth point faster. FDA determined that AquAdvantage Salmon is as safe to eat and as nutritious as non-GMO Atlantic salmon. FDA also found that its approval of the application for this salmon would not significantly impact the U.S. environment.

Are GMOs used to make anything besides food?

When you hear the term “GMO” you probably think of food. However, techniques used to create GMOs are important in creating some medicines as well. In fact, genetic engineering, which is the process used to create GMOs, was first used to make human insulin, a medicine used to treat diabetes. Medicines developed through genetic engineering go through an in-depth FDA approval process. All medicines must be proven to be safe and effective before they are approved for human use. GMOs are also used in the textile industry. Some GMO cotton plants are used to create cotton fiber that is then used to make fabric for clothing and other materials.

what is gmo

genetically modified organism (GMO), organism whose genome has been engineered in the laboratory in order to favour the expression of desired physiological traits or the generation of desired biological products. In conventional livestock production, crop farming, and even pet breeding, it has long been the practice to breed select individuals of a species in order to produce offspring that have desirable traits. In genetic modification, however, recombinant genetic technologies are employed to produce organisms whose genomes have been precisely altered at the molecular level, usually by the inclusion of genes from unrelated species of organisms that code for traits that would not be obtained easily through conventional selective breeding.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are produced using scientific methods that include recombinant DNA technology and reproductive cloning. In reproductive cloning, a nucleus is extracted from a cell of the individual to be cloned and is inserted into the enucleated cytoplasm of a host egg (an enucleated egg is an egg cell that has had its own nucleus removed). The process results in the generation of an offspring that is genetically identical to the donor individual. The first animal produced by means of this cloning technique with a nucleus from an adult donor cell (as opposed to a donor embryo) was a sheep named Dolly, born in 1996. Since then a number of other animals, including pigs, horses, and dogs, have been generated by reproductive cloning technology. Recombinant DNA technology, on the other hand, involves the insertion of one or more individual genes from an organism of one species into the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of another. Whole-genome replacement, involving the transplantation of one bacterial genome into the “cell body,” or cytoplasm, of another microorganism, has been reported, although this technology is still limited to basic scientific applications.

genetically modified organisms
genetically modified organismsGenetically modified organisms are produced using scientific methods that include recombinant DNA technology.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

GMOs produced through genetic technologies have become a part of everyday life, entering into society through agriculture, medicine, research, and environmental management. However, while GMOs have benefited human society in many ways, some disadvantages exist; therefore, the production of GMOs remains a highly controversial topic in many parts of the world.

GMOs in agriculture

Genetically modified (GM) foods were first approved for human consumption in the United States in 1994, and by 2014–15 about 90 percent of the corn, cotton, and soybeans planted in the United States were GM. By the end of 2014, GM crops covered nearly 1.8 million square kilometres (695,000 square miles) of land in more than two dozen countries worldwide. The majority of GM crops were grown in the Americas.

genetically engineered corn (maize)
genetically engineered corn (maize)Genetically engineered corn (maize).© S74/Shutterstock.com

Engineered crops can dramatically increase per area crop yields and, in some cases, reduce the use of chemical insecticides. For example, the application of wide-spectrum insecticides declined in many areas growing plants, such as potatoes, cotton, and corn, that were endowed with a gene from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, which produces a natural insecticide called Bt toxin. Field studies conducted in India in which Bt cotton was compared with non-Bt cotton demonstrated a 30–80 percent increase in yield from the GM crop.

This increase was attributed to marked improvement in the GM plants’ ability to overcome bollworm infestation, which was otherwise common. Studies of Bt cotton production in Arizona, U.S., demonstrated only small gains in yield—about 5 percent—with an estimated cost reduction of $25–$65 (USD) per acre owing to decreased pesticide applications.

In China, where farmers first gained access to Bt cotton in 1997, the GM crop was initially successful. Farmers who had planted Bt cotton reduced their pesticide use by 50–80 percent and increased their earnings by as much as 36 percent. By 2004, however, farmers who had been growing Bt cotton for several years found that the benefits of the crop eroded as populations of secondary insect pests, such as mirids, increased.

Farmers once again were forced to spray broad-spectrum pesticides throughout the growing season, such that the average revenue for Bt growers was 8 percent lower than that of farmers who grew conventional cotton. Meanwhile, Bt resistance had also evolved in field populations of major cotton pests, including both the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella).

Other GM plants were engineered for resistance to a specific chemical herbicide, rather than resistance to a natural predator or pest. Herbicide-resistant crops (HRC) have been available since the mid-1980s; these crops enable effective chemical control of weeds, since only the HRC plants can survive in fields treated with the corresponding herbicide.

Many HRCs are resistant to glyphosate (Roundup), enabling liberal application of the chemical, which is highly effective against weeds. Such crops have been especially valuable for no-till farming, which helps prevent soil erosion. However, because HRCs encourage increased application of chemicals to the soil, rather than decreased application, they remain controversial with regard to their environmental impact. In addition, in order to reduce the risk of selecting for herbicide-resistant weeds, farmers must use multiple diverse weed-management strategies.

Another example of a GM crop is “golden” rice, which originally was intended for Asia and was genetically modified to produce almost 20 times the beta-carotene of previous varieties. Golden rice was created by modifying the rice genome to include a gene from the daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus that produces an enzyme known as phyotene synthase and a gene from the bacterium Erwinia uredovora that produces an enzyme called phyotene desaturase.

The introduction of these genes enabled beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the human liver, to accumulate in the rice endosperm—the edible part of the rice plant—thereby increasing the amount of beta-carotene available for vitamin A synthesis in the body. In 2004 the same researchers who developed the original golden rice plant improved upon the model, generating golden rice 2, which showed a 23-fold increase in carotenoid production.

Another form of modified rice was generated to help combat iron deficiency, which impacts close to 30 percent of the world population. This GM crop was engineered by introducing into the rice genome a ferritin gene from the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, that produces a protein capable of binding iron, as well as a gene from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus that produces an enzyme capable of digesting compounds that increase iron bioavailability via digestion of phytate (an inhibitor of iron absorption).

The iron-fortified GM rice was engineered to overexpress an existing rice gene that produces a cysteine-rich metallothioneinlike (metal-binding) protein that enhances iron absorption.

A variety of other crops modified to endure the weather extremes common in other parts of the globe are also in production.

GMOs in medicine and research

GMOs have emerged as one of the mainstays of biomedical research since the 1980s. For example, GM animal models of human genetic diseases enabled researchers to test novel therapies and to explore the roles of candidate risk factors and modifiers of disease outcome. GM microbes, plants, and animals also revolutionized the production of complex pharmaceuticals by enabling the generation of safer and cheaper vaccines and therapeutics.

Pharmaceutical products range from recombinant hepatitis B vaccine produced by GM baker’s yeast to injectable insulin (for diabetics) produced in GM Escherichia coli bacteria and to factor VIII (for hemophiliacs) and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA, for heart attack or stroke patients), both of which are produced in GM mammalian cells grown in laboratory culture.

Furthermore, GM plants that produce “edible vaccines” are under development. An edible vaccine is an antigenic protein that is produced in the consumable parts of a plant (e.g., fruit) and absorbed into the bloodstream when the parts are eaten.

Once absorbed into the body, the protein stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies against the pathogen from which the antigen was derived. Such vaccines could offer a safe, inexpensive, and painless way to provide vaccines, particularly in less-developed regions of the world, where the limited availability of refrigeration and sterile needles

 has been problematic for some traditional vaccines. Novel DNA vaccines may be useful in the struggle to prevent diseases that have proved resistant to traditional vaccination approaches, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and cancer.

Genetic modification of insects has become an important area of research, especially in the struggle to prevent parasitic diseases. For example, GM mosquitoes have been developed that express a small protein called SM1, which blocks entry of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, into the mosquito’s gut. This results in the disruption of the parasite’s life cycle and renders the mosquito malaria-resistant.

Introduction of these GM mosquitoes into the wild could help reduce transmission of the malaria parasite. In another example, male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes engineered with a method known as the sterile insect technique transmit a gene to their offspring that causes the offspring to die before becoming sexually mature. In field trials in a Brazil suburb, A. aegypti populations declined by 95 percent following the sustained release of sterile GM males.

Finally, genetic modification of humans via gene therapy is becoming a treatment option for diseases ranging from rare metabolic disorders to cancer. Coupling stem cell technology with recombinant DNA methods allows stem cells derived from a patient to be modified in the laboratory to introduce a desired gene.

For example, a normal beta-globin gene may be introduced into the DNA of bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem cells from a patient with sickle cell anemia; introduction of these GM cells into the patient could cure the disease without the need for a matched donor.

Role of GMOs in environmental management

Know about genetically modified organisms, their importance, and impact on the environment
Know about genetically modified organisms, their importance, and impact on the environmentQuestions and answers about genetically modified organisms.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.See all videos for this article

Another application of GMOs is in the management of environmental issues. For example, some bacteria can produce biodegradable plastics, and the transfer of that ability to microbes that can be easily grown in the laboratory may enable the wide-scale “greening” of the plastics industry.

In the early 1990s, Zeneca, a British company, developed a microbially produced biodegradable plastic called Biopol (polyhydroxyalkanoate, or PHA). The plastic was made with the use of a GM bacterium, Ralstonia eutropha, to convert glucose and a variety of organic acids into a flexible polymer. GMOs endowed with the bacterially encoded ability to metabolize oil and heavy metals may provide efficient bioremediation strategies.

Sociopolitical relevance of GMOs

While GMOs offer many potential benefits to society, the potential risks associated with them have fueled controversy, especially in the food industry. Many skeptics warn about the dangers that GM crops may pose to human health. For example, genetic manipulation may potentially alter the allergenic properties of crops.

Whether some GM crops, such as golden rice, deliver on the promise of improved health benefits is also unclear. The release of GM mosquitoes and other GMOs into the environment also raised concerns. More-established risks were associated with the potential spread of engineered crop genes to native flora and the possible evolution of insecticide-resistant “superbugs.”

From the late 1990s, the European Union (EU) addressed such concerns by implementing strict GMO labeling laws. In the early 2000s, all GM foods and GM animal feeds in the EU were required to be labeled if they consisted of or contained GM products in a proportion greater than 0.9 percent. By contrast, in the United States, foods containing GM ingredients did not require special labeling, though the issue was hotly debated at national and state levels.

Many opponents of GM products focused their arguments on unknown risks to food safety. However, despite the concerns of some consumer and health groups, especially in Europe, numerous scientific panels, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, concluded that consumption of GM foods was safe, even in cases involving GM foods with genetic material from very distantly related organisms.

Learn about CRISPR technology and how it can transform medicine and society
Learn about CRISPR technology and how it can transform medicine and societyWhat is CRISPR, and how does it stand to transform medicine and society?© World Science Festival (A Britannica Publishing Partner)See all videos for this article

The strict regulations on GM products in the EU have been a source of tension in agricultural trade. In the late 1990s, the EU declared a moratorium on the import and use of GM crops. However, the ban—which led to trade disputes with other countries, particularly the United States, where GM foods had been accepted openly—was considered unjustified by the World Trade Organization.

In consequence, the EU implemented regulatory changes that allowed for the import of certain GM crops. Within Europe, however, only one GM crop, a type of insect-resistant corn (maize), was cultivated. Some countries, including certain African states, had likewise rejected GM products. Still other countries, such as Canada, China, Argentina, and Australia, had open policies on GM foods.

The use of GMOs in medicine and research has produced a debate that is more philosophical in nature. For example, while genetic researchers believe they are working to cure disease and ameliorate suffering, many people worry that current gene therapy approaches may one day be applied to produce “designer” children or to lengthen the natural human life span.

Similar to many other technologies, gene therapy and the production and application of GMOs can be used to address and resolve complicated scientific, medical, and environmental issues, but they must be used wisely.

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