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GMO 101 Series

GMO Basics

Do you have questions about GMOs? If you do, you’re not alone. Many people find that they need to visit multiple sources or decipher scientific jargon for complete, accurate answers. Our video series will answer many of your questions in one place. It is an easy-to-understand collection of answers that will increase your knowledge of the basics of GMOs and help you understand some of the more complex questions you often hear.

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are a product of a sophisticated breeding technology that allows plant breeders to precisely introduce beneficial traits into plants. GMOs approved for use today have been improved to help farmers tackle insects, disease, and weeds and in the future could offer foods with higher vitamin levels, longer shelf lives, or the ability to grow even in the face of climate change. Genetic modification (GM), genetic engineering (GE), and bioengineered (BE) are a few other terms that are also often used to refer to GMOs.

Why do farmers need GMOs to help control weeds and insects?

The majority of weeds and insects are unwelcome in a farmer’s field. Left uncontrolled, they can reduce plant health, robbing a crop of yield and quality. This also impacts a farmer’s bottom line. It’s in everyone’s best interest to limit weeds and detrimental insect pressure to help achieve a harvest of safe, affordable, and abundant food.

Are GMOs safe?

Yes. Health authorities, scientific experts, and governments around the world have all found GMO crops to be one of the most rigorously tested products on the market with a proven safety record for our food and our health.

Where are GMOs grown?

GMOs are grown worldwide and have become one of the fastest-adopted crop technologies in the history of agriculture. More than 17 million farmers in 26 countries planted GMO crops – from corn to papaya. In recent years, more and growers are adopting the technology. In fact, the area where GMO crops are grown has increased 100-fold since the seeds were first widely introduced in 1996. The world’s largest corn and soybean exporters, the United States, Brazil, and Argentina, almost exclusively grow GMO crops. These trends are likely to continue as more countries embrace GMO crops.

What are the benefits of GMO crops?

GMOs enable farmers worldwide to boost the profitability, productivity, and sustainability of their farms. This creates a better quality of life for their community by improving the local economy, provides consumers with high-quality nutritious food, and protects the natural environment around all of us.

Do only private companies conduct research on GMOs?

No. Public institutions are developing groundbreaking biotech innovations that can help tackle climate change, fight malnutrition in developing regions, improve food security, and more. These projects are poised to deliver incredible benefits to farming communities, consumers, and improve the health of our world.

What are some GMOs of the future?

GMOs have already provided farmers with agricultural innovations they never thought possible. The future promises even greater advancements. GMOs of the future will help farmers better weather climate change and provide solutions worldwide to fight malnutrition and health issues.