A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.
This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.
The term “genetic modification” is used both commonly and legally to refer to the use of recombinant DNA techniques, in ways that are not possible or desirable in nature, to transfer genetic material between organisms. This concept of genetic modification brings about alterations in genetic makeup and in the properties of the organism developed. This technique using genetic engineering is highly mutagenic and leads to unpredictable changes in the DNA and the proteins produced by the GMO that can lead to toxic or allergic reactions.
GM proponents will argue that “genetic modification” has been used for centuries in an attempt to blur the lines and create confusion. Traditional genetics used selective breeding, tissue cultures, hybridization and other methods that assists nature but does not circumvent natural laws.
The methods used to transfer the genes of modified DNA of a genetically modified plant are imprecise and unpredictable. These unintended changes are possible differences in the food’s nutritional values, toxic and allergic effects, lower crop yields and unforeseen harm to the environment that cannot be recalled.