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Understanding Genetically Engineered Foods (GMOs)

The topic of genetically engineered food is hot right now. There is a debate between food labeling advocacy groups and large food industry producers over the need to label foods that are genetically engineered (GE). The term GMO (genetically modified organism) refers to a food that has been genetically engineered. The following points can help clarify what the debate is about and why it may be important to your family to be informed.

What is a GE or a GMO?

These terms are essentially interchangeable. A genetically engineered food has had foreign DNA bred into the plant (or animal, although at this point GMOs are all crops), which results in DNA that would not otherwise naturally occur in that food. The goal of genetic engineering from an agricultural standpoint is to produce crops that tolerate pesticides or to breed pesticides into the crops. Virtually all genetically engineered seeds contain viral or antibiotic DNA (or both). Read more