Have you ever wondered what a GMO actually is? On Instagram @AndreaHardyRD, I talk all about GMOs, their safety and whether or not they are sustainable.
So many people are terrified of GMO’s.
Because they don’t have a good understanding of what they are!
GMO is a type of plant breeding where we take a gene from one organism and insert it into another. It differs from other types of breeding because it is TARGETED.
Traditional plant breeding relies on random selection – meaning you cross plants until you get the desirable characteristics you want – which takes a long time.
GMO bypasses the ‘long time’. With genomic sequencing, we can identify which gene is responsible for what effect on a plant, no different than we identify which gene in humans contributes to blue eyes. Then we can safely insert that gene into the plants genetic code (which, BTW also happens in nature, too!)
You start with something safe. You take the gene from something else safe. You end with something with the SAME safety.
What about ingesting GMO’s?
Well – it’s no different than ingesting any other genes. You consume a plant, and your body breaks down the proteins & DNA into individual building blocks – it doesn’t discriminate against where the proteins came from!
To make absolutely sure, all genes are screened to ensure they don’t encode for anything that may be allergenic, toxic, or less nutritious than the original plant, which is why extensive testing is undergone to ensure the gene does exactly what we think it does (which is WAY more than we do with traditional cross breeding or mutagenesis, which also change the genetic code and gene expression – which isn’t a bad thing!)
Bottom line: GMOs are not only safe, they benefit the environment, improve food access and help with sustainability.