Qhow common are Gmos?

how common are Gmos?

AExpert Answer

This is a great question, and we want to start by sharing information about how GM seeds came to be used in agriculture. Farmers have intentionally changed the genetic makeup of all the crops they have grown and the livestock they have raised since domestic agriculture began 10,000 years ago. Every fruit, vegetable and grain that is commercially available today has been altered by human hands, including organic and heirloom seeds.

In the late 20th century, advances in technology enabled us to expand the genetic diversity of crops. For years, university, government and company scientists intensively researched and refined this process. A major result has been GM seeds that maintain or increase the yield of crops while requiring less land and fewer inputs, both of which lessen the impact of agriculture on the environment and reduce costs for farmers.



Biotechnology in plant agriculture has come to mean the process of intentionally making a copy of a gene for a desired trait in one plant or organism and using it in another plant. The result is a GMO (genetically modified organism).


To answer your question, there are currently eight crops commercially available from GM seeds in the United States: corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash. No commercially available crops in the United States were created by nature alone. We humans, over our history, have altered all of our crops, often for taste or yield or disease resistance.


However, it is important to note that while agricultural GMOs are often the most talked about, GM technology is quite prevalent. Did you know the following products are GMOs, too?


If you have any additional questions, please ask at http://www.gmoanswers.com/ask. You might also be interested in our Explore section: http://www.gmoanswers.com/explore.

Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More
Posted on April 22, 2017
GMO plants, like all other plants, do not “sleep” in the sense that you and I as mammals sleep. However, plants do have natural processes that may be cyclic or seasonal, indicating a cycle or rhythm to their growth and life. This is not technically “sleeping” but let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean.    Some plants have a type of metabolism known as CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism). Plants which have CAM close the pores on their leaves... Read More
Posted on August 15, 2017
GMO crops are not "banned" in any countries around the world in the normal sense of that word. Usually when something is banned for consumption, etc., it is because some problem emerged that needed a response. The history of regulation for biotech crops is quite different in that there were regulatory approval processes developed long before any such crops were commercialized. The goal was to try to anticipate any potential health or environmental issues and to make... Read More