In the 1980s, researchers began experimenting with genetically modifying crops to improve production. The first GM crop, a tomato that was engineered to have a longer shelf life, was approved for commercial use in the United States in 1994. Since then, the use of GM technology has grown rapidly, and GM crops are now grown in many countries around the world. However, the use of GM technology has also been controversial, with concerns about its safety, environmental impact, and potential risks to human health. 


Simply stated, when scientists change a plant or animal from its original form they create a GMO (genetically modified organism). 

For example, when a scientist changes a plant to make it grow more. A farmer who wants an animal modified so it will make more milk or meat is another example. Genetic engineering or transgenic technology are the areas of science that study GMOs. 


Basically, when Scientists change foods from their original form they create a GM food (genetically modified food).  Other names for genetically modified foods (GM foods) are genetically engineered foods and bioengineered foods.  Genetic engineering is the name of the area of science that studies and creates GM foods.  First, these scientists change the tiny parts (DNA) of the food. DNA is what tells a plant or animal to do as it grows. Finally, after genetic scientists make many small changes the food or animal is grown again.  Overall, the goal is to make food better than how it is in nature.

The US Food and Drug Administration reported a huge increase in GMOs.  It found that GMO soybeans made up 94% of all soybeans planted, GMO cotton made up 94% of all cotton planted, and 92% of corn planted was GMO corn.  Additionally, more than 95% of meat and dairy animals eat GMO crops. So, there is a huge chance that a lot of food products you use in your home are genetically modified.

The future of genetically modified (GM) food is not certain, and scientists and regulators are still learning more about it.

GMO or the Genetically modified organism is basically an organism that can be a plant, an animal or even a microorganism that are modified genetically in a laboratory to add certain desired characters in them. This is done when these desired characters are not present in them naturally. This same technique is used to create Genetically Modified Foods.


Scientists genetically modify the cells or seeds of certain plants in the laboratory. They change the DNA of plants by adding new genes that give the plant specific traits they want, such as resistance to pests or improved nutritional content. One way they can do this is by using a special tool called a “gene gun” to shoot tiny particles coated with the new DNA into the cells of the plant. The new DNA then integrates itself into the plant’s existing DNA, which can lead to changes in the way the plant grows or produces. Another technique is to infect the plant with a modified virus that contains the new DNA. Once the new DNA is inside the plant cells, it can be passed on to future generations.


When the crops or plants are grown in fields, farmers need to take care of the pests, heat, cold, irrigation.  There is a lot of work required to grow good and healthy crops. To make it easier, farmers can buy GM seeds.  These seeds are modified plants with increased resistance to pests and herbicides. These modified plants are also often able to stand droughts, cold, or heat. After these changes crops can also increase the quality and size of the foods they produce.  Additionally, GM plants can even increase certain nutrients such as protein or calcium. Finally, genetically engineered crops are able to extend their shelf life. Therefore, they stay fresh longer and cause less food waste.

These genetic modifications are very beneficial, especially in certain remote areas where people don’t have access to sufficient or nutrient-rich food. GM foods, with increased nutrients and increased shelf life, can be transported to these remote areas to help feed the people living there.

Why do some watermelons and grapes have no seeds while others do?

These seedless foods are the result of the genetic modification of their plants. Producers knew that watermelons without seeds would be easier to eat!


There has been a debate on the impact of these GM foods. Some researchers believe that these are safe and healthy while others believe that these cause harm to our health. Let’s see the reason behind their opinions.

The facts presented thus far make you believe that GM foods are so useful and have a positive impact. That’s definitely true but it has some cons as well. A lot of researchers believe that these foods are not as safe as natural foods. They can lead to certain allergies, resistance to certain antibiotics and even cancer. Let’s see the reason behind these opinions.

In the last decade, US reports of food allergies are increasing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of food allergies in people younger than 18 years old has increased from 3.4% in the late 90s to 5.1% around 2010. Researchers believe that GM foods are the cause of this increase but there is not much evidence supporting this.

However, some researchers believe that transferring proteins from one plant to another causes the problem, since foreign proteins can cause allergic reactions. One example of this is the GM soybean that scientists modified in the mid-1990s to have the proteins of Brazilian nuts. Many people with an allergy to Brazil nuts had an allergic reaction to these soybeans. After doctors discovered the connection, the sale of these GM soybeans ended.

GMOs might be causing antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria become strong enough to resist antibiotics, which makes them difficult to kill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that antibiotic-resistant germs affect about two million people every year, leading to the death of at least twenty-three thousand people annually.

Scientists sometimes use genes that are resistant to antibiotics when modifying seeds through genetic engineering. Some people have concerns that this practice might be connected to the rising number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, so far, no studies have confirmed this idea, and researchers are continuing to investigate this topic.

GMO link to Cancer

In 2013, a research paper claimed that a type of glyphosate-resistant GM corn and a glyphosate herbicide (called Roundup) caused cancer in lab rats. Later, this study was retracted because the researchers had used very few rats, and the type of rat was known to already be cancer-prone.

There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that GMOs cause cancer. The safety of GMOs has been extensively studied by various regulatory agencies and scientific organizations, and they have been deemed safe for human consumption. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization made certain protocols to test GM foods before selling them to consumers to ensure that these foods are safe for use.

To understand the long-term impact of genetically modified foods, scientists need to conduct more research. In Europe, regulations require GM foods to be labeled as being genetically modified. But currently, this is not done in the US. So, if you’re living in the US, you can know if you are buying natural food or genetically modified food. But don’t worry, you can still avoid GM foods by looking for the label of USDA-certified organic. Organic foods must meet stricter requirements and these foods are supposed to be grown without the use of GMOs.

Although GM foods could be found to have negative effects, currently there are many positives. Overall, this is an area that needs our attention and continued research to ensure that safe and healthy food is available.


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