QWhen did your company, or any company or individual connected with Monsanto, begin the practice of genetic modification? What were some of the first things genetically modified and for what purpose?

When did your company, or any company or individual connected with Monsanto, begin the practice of genetic modification? What were some of the first things genetically modified and for what purpose?

AExpert Answer

First, let me mention that details on the history of crop modification can be found in the Explore section of GMO Answers. And, as described in the History of Crop Modification reel, plants have been genetically modified through conventional breeding for centuries. 

 

The first use of biotechnology involving transformation and recombinant DNA technology, or what is commonly referred to as GM, at Monsanto was research work with E. coli for producing proteins in the laboratory in the 1970s.  This use of genetic modification for generating proteins is best known for medical uses, such as insulin for diabetics and growth hormone for growth insufficiency. In addition, other organisms, such as microbes, have been modified for common fermentation uses, such as cheese and beer production.  Monsanto does not commercialize any products related to these uses of biotechnology.

 

The first modification of plants through the use of genetic engineering at Monsanto was petunias in the 1980s.  These were not marketed but were used for research purposes, due to the fact that they could be transformed and the genetics were relatively well known.  The first major GM plant products commercialized in 1996 were Roundup Ready soybeans and Bollgard cotton. Roundup Ready soybeans were developed to provide growers with a tool to more effectively control weeds, while Bollgard cotton was developed to protect plants from bollworm and certain other insect pests.

Posted on September 5, 2017
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
Posted on June 28, 2017
The short answer is no, neither MSG or animal extraction are from GMOs, nor is MSG, animal extraction, or animal products/animal DNA in GMOs.   When people refer to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), they are referring to precision plant breeding using genetic engineering (also called GE). It allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait (like resistance to drought, insects, weeds, and disease) from one plant or organism and transfer it to the plant... Read More
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Posted on June 28, 2017
No. MSG, monosodium glutamate, is a chemical additive, certainly not a GMO.
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