Everything you need to know about genetically modified foods

16 Cards

CURATED BY Brad Plumer

2014-08-05 10:57:43 -0400

  1. What is genetically modified food?
  2. How do you genetically modify food, exactly?
  3. How is GMO food different from regular food?
  4. Why would anyone want to make genetically modified food?
  5. How widespread are genetically modified foods?
  6. Are genetically modified foods safe for your health?
  7. Are genetically modified crops good or bad for the environment?
  8. How are genetically modified foods regulated?
  9. What's the debate over labeling GMO foods?
  10. Who conducts research on GM foods?
  11. Can genetically modified foods be patented?
  12. Who profits from genetically modified foods?
  13. Are genetically modified foods necessary to feed the world?
  14. You didn't answer my question!
  15. What else should I read about genetically modified foods?
  16. How have these cards changed?
  1. Card 1 of 16

    What is genetically modified food?

    Genetically modified food (or GM food) is food produced from plants or animals whose DNA has been altered through genetic engineering. These genetically modified organisms are often called GMOs for short.

    Genetic engineering is the process of manipulating an organism's genes directly — for example, by transplanting DNA from other organisms. It's different from the conventional method of selectively breeding plants and animals to get desired traits. Genetically modified foods have been on the U.S. market since 1994, ever since the introduction of "Flavr Savr" tomatoes that had been engineered to ripen more slowly.

    There's no one type of genetically modified organism — genetic engineering is a tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. Most of the corn and soy grown in the United States has been genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides, so that it's easier to spray fields with weed-killer. Other crops have been modified to withstand pests. But genetic engineering could conceivably help create crops that can survive drought or help produce food that's more nutritious.

    There's a broad scientific consensus that the genetically modified foods currently on the market pose no more of a health risk than regular foods. Still, GM foods are controversial. Opponents argue that genetically modified crops can lead to things like the increased use of chemical herbicides, or cite problems with the fact that GMOs are owned and patented by large companies. That has led to debates over whether GMOs should be labeled or tightly regulated.

  2. Card 2 of 16

    How do you genetically modify food, exactly?

  3. Card 3 of 16

    How is GMO food different from regular food?

  4. Card 4 of 16

    Why would anyone want to make genetically modified food?

  5. Card 5 of 16

    How widespread are genetically modified foods?

  6. Card 6 of 16

    Are genetically modified foods safe for your health?

  7. Card 7 of 16

    Are genetically modified crops good or bad for the environment?

  8. Card 8 of 16

    How are genetically modified foods regulated?

  9. Card 9 of 16

    What's the debate over labeling GMO foods?

  10. Card 10 of 16

    Who conducts research on GM foods?

  11. Card 11 of 16

    Can genetically modified foods be patented?

  12. Card 12 of 16

    Who profits from genetically modified foods?

  13. Card 13 of 16

    Are genetically modified foods necessary to feed the world?

  14. Card 14 of 16

    You didn't answer my question!

  15. Card 15 of 16

    What else should I read about genetically modified foods?

  16. Card 16 of 16

    How have these cards changed?

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