QIs it true that all corn on the planet is already genetically modified?

Is it true that all corn on the planet is already genetically modified?

AExpert Answer

Corn has been grown by humans for approximately 10,000 years, and its genetics have been heavily modified through breeding and mutation to improve its utility as a crop over this very long period. The modern technique of transgenesis has been used to further improve the agronomic characteristics of corn over the last two decades. Transgenesis has become synonymous with the term “genetically modified” (GM) over this time period, but it is really a misnomer. So all corn on the planet has been genetically modified by human activities, but not all corn has transgenes inserted by the modern technique of transgenesis.

Posted on January 31, 2018
Thank you for your question. There are various aspects of your question. I assume your question refers to the use of Agrobacterium rhizogenes by scientists to intentionally transfer genes from the bacterium to plants. Infection and DNA transfer from this bacterium occurs in nature all the time to cause disease. Such transformed plants are not classified as GMOs since transfer occurred naturally. If this is done by scientists then it would be classified as a GMO. Rules and... Read More
Answer:
Posted on March 1, 2018
I’m a Monsanto scientist who has more than 20 years of experience with genetic modification of plants. I will try to answer your question, even though I don’t ever do experiments on animals, certainly not on humans, of course! Can humans be genetically modified…but a much bigger question is should humans be genetically modified? There are two ways to think about genetic modification of humans (or any animal). One way is modification of somatic cells, and the other is the... Read More
Answer:
Posted on May 10, 2017
The simple answer is that 20+ years of composition assessments of GMO crops have demonstrated that crop composition is not appreciably affected by the GM process (1). In addition, data collected through that time have indicated that general factors such as the growth environment can contribute to notable variation in component levels (2). Plant agglutinins (or lectins) and amylase inhibitors are examples of anti-nutritional compounds that may be present in crops. The relevance of such a... Read More

Explore More Topics