QHow are are GMOs currently affecting the environment, and are the effects expected to change in the future? Are there any environmental risks associated with GMOs?

How are are GMOs currently affecting the environment, and are the effects expected to change in the future? Are there any environmental risks associated with GMOs?

AExpert Answer

GMOs can affect the environment in many ways, and this response discusses the many ways in which GMOs can benefit the environment and the impact GM crops have on the environment. The data in this response from Brookes and Barfoot is from 2013, updated information can be found in their most recent report here.

 

Additionally, these infographics are helpful in explaining how GMOs can help preserve the habitat and H2O, protect the environment and improve soil health.

 

Kevin Folta, professor and chairman of Horticultural Sciences Department at University of Florida, addresses the topic of environmental risks here.

“Those improving plant genetics by breeding or biotech are sensitive to the environment, so just about every new plant, GM or from traditional breeding, is carefully evaluated for potential invasiveness. This can be an issue for sure with certain grasses and cereal crops, which currently are not GMO. We still have committees that discuss new releases and ask the breeders for data to ensure they have no likelihood of breaking containment.”

 

Based on the 20 years of scientific evidence of GMOs, we believe the benefits on the environment will continue into the future. Read more information about GMOs and the environment here.

Posted on August 31, 2018
There is actually a great deal of genetic diversity among the hybrids and varieties that have also had a gene added by genetic engineering. Once an engineered version of the plant is developed, it goes back into the regular breeding system which is used to develop lines that are adapted to different soils and climates. Now from a pest evolution perspective it isn’t wise to depend on only one Bt gene for insect resistance or one gene for tolerance to one herbicide. That... Read More
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Posted on July 4, 2018
Thank you for your questions, we will address each question separately below. How is a transgenic organism or GMO created? When people refer to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), they are referring to precision plant breeding using genetic engineering. It allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait (like resistance to drought, insects, weeds, and disease) from one plant or organism and transfer it to the plant they want to improve, as well as make... Read More
Posted on May 7, 2018
Hi and thanks for the question! I think you may have been inspired by recent reports on the discovery of the human gene PDE10A. This gene helps the Bajau people (a marine hunter-gatherer people living in southeast Asia) dive deeper and for greater duration. This genetic adaption increases the size of their spleen, which helps the Bajau perform in low-oxygen environments. At the same time, new techniques for editing DNA (of all organisms) has many people excited about curing human genetic... Read More