What Are Genetically Modified Foods?

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms that have been created through the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This means that DNA from one species is injected into another species, modifying it and creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.

What Happens When An Organism Is Modified?

The gene that is introduced in the organism that does not normally carry it generally allows it to express a protein or enzyme that will provide it with a new physiological characteristic.

One of the most noted examples of this is the Glowing Tobacco Plant in the above image. A tobacco plant injected with the DNA of a firefly to create a tobacco plant that when sprayed with chemicals would be able to glow in the dark.

Could GMOs Be In The Food I’m Eating?

Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered, 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products) is genetically engineered, too. Almost all sugar beets are now GE.

It has been estimated that a staggering 70 percent of processed foods you might buy in the grocery store – anything from apples to soup, cookies to ice cream may contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Do you want to find out more about GMOs. Click on any of the tabs in this GMO Live Binder presentation for more information. And be sure to read the blog post titled, What Do GMO Foods Have to Do With An Intolerance to Gluten and Other Food Intolerances? and Should a GFCF Diet for Those with Autism Also Be Free of GMOs?

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