Genetic Engineering is the creation of a genetically modified organism (GMO) which can be a plant, animal or other organism whose genes have been altered in a laboratory.
Genetic Engineering has potential benefits when applied for medicine and used ethically in containment, but in the open environment GE brings risks to our food systems and environment.
That is why many people want to choose Non-GMO food and want to support companies that have a policy to use GE-free ingredients.
‘Gene Editing’ refers to recently developed techniques to alter genes, but these have the potential for accidental changes in genes and must be regulated. Cisgenics and Gene Editing are both forms of genetic modification and are very different from traditional plant breeding.
GMOs contain combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that would never occur in nature. Although GMO producers say they’re feeding the world, the numbers don’t add up. New Zealand researchers found that crop yields in countries using GMOs are not higher than GMO-free countries.
The promise of environmental benefits from planting GMOs have also not been delivered. In the US the use of herbicide-tolerant GMO seeds has increased the use of poisonous weed sprays. That has driven the emergence of herbicide-resistant ‘superweeds’, requiring even more toxic sprays.