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 February 2, 2018
Dr. Larry Gilbertson, PhD, Genomics Strategy Lead at Monsanto, explains how GMOs are “created” or made exactly, answering a lot of common questions about this process in this post. Watch as he prepares to create a GMO here.     Additionally, the below infographic details what a GMO is and the lifecycle it goes through to be developed.     Steve Savage, Consultant, Savage & Associates, explains what the future of GMOs may be like in this... Read More
Posted on February 12, 2018
GMOs are safe. In fact, according to this response, “the overwhelming consensus of scientific experts and major scientific authorities around the world, including the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the American Medical Association have ruled that GMOs are safe.”   “In the spring of 2016, The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) issued a comprehensive report where a panel of more... Read More
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Posted on February 2, 2018
A former response to a similar question answered by Dave Kovalic, Regulatory New Technology Lead at Monsanto, also provides information on scientific advancements and how they [Monsanto] affirm safety prior to targeted vector insertion.   “For context, it is important to recognize that random genome insertions have been naturally occurring in crops over the ~10,000-year history of agriculture.  In some crops, more than 90 percent of the genome consists of these... Read More