What are GMOs?
GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms refer to plants or animals and other microorganisms in which their genes are altered for purposes like increased growth, improved nutritional value, or increased resistance to insects among others.
The common method used in modifying or altering the genes of a particular organism is called recombinant DNA technology. In this way, genes from an external source are introduced into the gene structure of a plant or animal to alter its growth and properties. In the case of crops like corn, bacterial genes are introduced to enhance growth and make them bigger. In other instances, genetic modification is intended to make the corn resistant to certain insects, pests, and herbicides. In this way, farmers will increase yield and less corn will be wasted. Through this technology, maturation time of some crops is also reduced, resulting to a faster cycle of planting to harvesting. Some crops are also genetically modified to improve their nutritional value.
Aside from plants, some animals may also be genetically modified using similar DNA or genetic technology. The usual purpose is for better yields in terms of animal meat, milk, or eggs. Others claim also that through modifying the genetic properties of some animals, their health will be better monitored and this information may help in the diagnosis of certain diseases.
But not all agree to the process of genetic modification to plants and animals. For these people, altering genes is just not acceptable as this is not nature’s way of providing for the needs of people. Some worry about the unknown risks of consuming foods which are said to be sourced from GMOs or genetically-modified organisms. Others stress that it is simply unethical to tamper with nature’s processes. Because of many possible disadvantages and risks of GMOs or genetically-modified products, some countries have strict rules on these items. Some require proper labeling of food products while others do not allow the production and sale of these types of foods.