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  • Joseph Najjar's picture
    Joseph Najjar
    12.22.2013
    http://www.thefurtrapper.com/mesoamerica.htm ---- scroll down a bit to see the picture of old maize versus new maize, and that is just over a few thousand years. This is just one example of the changes seen over that time period
  • Joseph Najjar's picture
    Joseph Najjar
    12.22.2013
    First of all, GMO( genetically modified organism) is an actual living thing. For example, the corn plant itself is a GMO, the seed that you harvest from that plant is GM seed. We can use molecular markers to locate genes of interest and screen large numbers of individuals for a particular set of genes, cutting down the total amount of material we have to deal with. As you said, genetic modification has been happening since humans first started gathering seeds and replanting them. They replanted seed from the best plants, so they were always selecting for what they found most favorable in the plants. If you can find them, look at what corn, carrots, wheat, and a bunch of other crops looked like 10,000 years ago, and what they look like now. Much more recently, we have been genetically manipulating these plants more directly, and those are the plants that should really be labeled "genetically modified". Within that category, there are also different groups. Transgenic organisms have genes from a different species within them. For example, the Bt gene in corn or soybean. GM crops also include plants that only have genes from within their species though. If we discover a soybean plant in China, with resistance genes that we dont have in our gene pools here, we can move that gene from a "wild-type" relative into a commercial variety, that has been optimized for the farmer's field. Being able to move the gene directly, as opposed to traditional back-crossing methods, saves years of breeding and lots of money. Your ideas on labeling are on the right track, but you have to remember most Americans may not see any differences between those statements. If the general public isnt educated on the matter, it doesnt really matter what the labels say....thats why I'm glad this site is here