QIt is my understanding as a graduate student in molecular anthropology that we consider anything that has been domesticated as a GMO, because domestication is one of the earliest forms of genetic engineering. I was wondering whenever I hear GMOs rightfull

It is my understanding as a graduate student in molecular anthropology that we consider anything that has been domesticated as a GMO, because domestication is one of the earliest forms of genetic engineering. I was wondering whenever I hear GMOs rightfully being defended, none of the experts ever point this out. Why is it?

AExpert Answer

I agree that it has essentially has been a lapse on scientists’ part not to express this “truth” whenever appropriate. I believe that allowing the definition of “GMO” to be limited to the use of modern scientific technologies has, over time, caused its placement within the context of genetic improvement to be lost. Especially for non-specialists, there seems to be a tendency to not understand that all foodstuff contain DNA and with no to few exceptions, were and are deliberately modified by humankind.
 
At first, the modifications were accomplished without understanding the underlying genetic mechanisms, but without doubt, they were deliberate. Later, we learned more and improvement became accelerated. Keep in mind that still, we do not understand everything about genetic function and gene expression and may never do so. It has dumbfounded some to hear that all organic crops are produced from bred (i.e., heavily modified) cultivars, often to the point of disbelief.
 
I present the following text on a slide in all of my presentations, and in fact, did so just this week at the annual meeting for the American Society of Horticultural Science.
 
Basic Tenets of Crop Improvement
 
1.    Without exception, all crops utilized for food and fiber were genetically improved by man.
2.    Crops like corn didn’t even exist in nature and only evolved through our deliberate actions.
3.    Improved crop plants have fed the world.
4.    Further improvement is urgently required to meet current and future demands.
 

Posted on September 20, 2017
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan.    GMO Answers provides the facts that answer questions related to biotechnology, GM crops and agriculture. We work to ensure that the content and answers provided by experts and companies is accurate and therefore do not present opinions about GMOs, simply facts. GMO Answers is a community focused on constructive discussion about GMOs in order to have open conversations about... Read More
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While there might be some institutions with the capability to make these transgenic watermelon and coconut plants for you, that does not mean that you would be able to actually plant them out. First, the institution would need to have a Biological Use Authorization to work with recombinant DNA to make the vectors to transfer the genes. Then they would need to be able to do the tissue culture required to transfer the genes and regenerate whole plants again, which can sometimes be difficult.... Read More
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