kbellaorganic's picture
Is there animal DNA in GM foods? If so which ones? Please answer, I'm a vegetarian, and when I heard this I nearly got sick from the thought. Please answer. Thank you.

A:Expert Answer

I am sorry that you were concerned.  There is certainly quite a bit of misinformation about GM crops on the Internet that is designed to mislead and scare consumers.  There are no commercial GM crops on the market that contain animal genes.


It should be noted that plant scientists who study the genomes of plants have estimated that about 60 percent of the genes present in plants have very similar copies in animals. This is not surprising, since all organisms use the same genetic toolbox. DNA from any source is made up of the same four basic nucleotide building blocks:­ adenine (A), cytosine (C), thymine (T) and guanine (G).  So DNA that comes from a plant or a microbe has the same four nucleotides as the DNA in animals. When any DNA is ingested, it is broken down into these nucleotides, which are further broken down and absorbed or excreted.  

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jtrav21's picture

kbellaorganic - there are no commercial GMO crops (thus, none going into food production) which contain any genes transferred from animals. Many of them are based on genes transferred from other plants or bacteria - but not animals.

Wikipedia has a decent overview and a summary table of GMO crops here: