Everett Griner talks GMO in today’s Agri View. The fight to control or ban GMO’s continues. Despite every study done that shows GMO’s are safe, companies and even entire countries are still battling to do away with them. Now we are learning that GMO’s are not just in food products. They are widely used in medicines that help us stay healthy and live longer. They are used in insulin and compounds to fight cancer, polio and other diseases.
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using engineering techniques (i.e. genetically engineered organism). GMOs are the source of medicines and genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce other goods. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, ‘living modified organism’, defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”).
A more specifically defined type of GMO is a “Transgenic Organism”. This is an organism whose genetic makeup has been altered by the addition of genetic material from another, unrelated organism. This should not be confused with the more general way in which “GMO” is used to classify genetically altered organisms, as typically GMOs are organisms whose genetic makeup has been altered without the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism.
The first genetically modified mouse was in 1981, the first plant was produced in 1983 and the first genetically modified human (modified mitochondrial DNA) was born on July 21, 1997.