What is GMO?

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 1 minute

Imagine a new animal or crop being created in a lab through genetic engineering ““ that is, combining, adding or deleting parts of an organism’s DNA to form a new species. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s real and it’s more common than you might think.

Researcher Examining Test Tube

“GMO” refers to a “genetically modified organism.” Some common GMO products you may encounter daily include corn, cotton and soybeans. These crops have been genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides and/or include proteins that are resistant to weeds and insects.

Other genetically modified organisms include animals, such as the GloFish ““ a patented brand of several zebrafish species engineered to come in several fluorescent colors. Scientists have also created a genetically engineered pig (Enviropig) that secretes significantly less phosphorus than a regular pig. A new, relatively controversial addition to the GMO family includes salmon that are genetically modified to grow twice as fast.

There are many differing viewpoints on the safety and usefulness of genetically modified organisms. Where do you stand on the GMO issue? Share your thoughts here.