Looking for Information on GMOs? These Are the GMO Facts

By Monsanto

Get the GMO facts by watching our video or checking out the highlights below.

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Transcript

What are they? Why are they grown? Are they safe? Learn how GMO seeds help farmers grow enough for a growing world.

GMO seeds are just one of the many ways Monsanto is helping farmers sustainably grow enough for a growing world. But they're also, without a doubt, the one we hear the most about. What are they? Why do some farmers choose to grow them? Are they really that scary? Give it a minute. GMOs are genetically modified organisms. When it comes to plants, there are eight GMO crops. GMOs are adapted with beneficial traits that help them thrive in their environment. Think drought tolerant corn or pest resistant soybeans that need less bug spray. That helps farmers. And better harvest benefit everyone, impacting what's available at the store and what we can put on our plates.

Here's how it works. Plants get instructions for growth and development from their DNA, which contains thousands of genes. Researchers zero in on the gene containing specific instructions for a desirable trait. A copy of that gene goes into the DNA of host plant cells, which are grown into mature plants. Only after years of rigorous testing are the seeds from those plants made available to farmers. No syringes, no Franken-food, and much faster than traditional plant breeding methods alone. With food demands expected to grow significantly by 2050, GMO seeds can help farmers sustainably grow enough. That's a lot to cover in a minute, so if you still have questions, check out discover.monsanto.com.


GMO seeds are just one of the many ways Monsanto is helping farmers sustainably grow enough for a growing world. But they’re also without a doubt the one we hear questions about the most. Some of the more common questions about GMOs are:

  • What are GMOs?
  • Why do some farmers choose to grow them?
  • Are they safe to eat?

We’re taking a closer look at these questions and some often-searched for GMO answers.

GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms

One of the most important GMO facts is that GMOs are developed with beneficial traits that help them thrive in their environment. Think drought-tolerant corn, or pest-resistant soybeans that need less bug spraying. That helps farmers and better harvests benefit everyone, impacting what’s available at the store…and what we can put on our plates.

How are GMOs Created?

  • How Are Gmos Created Step 11.

    The desired trait (like disease resistance or drought tolerance) is identified in nature.

  • How Are Gmos Created Step 2
    2.

    The gene for the trait is transferred into a plant seed.

  • How Are Gmos Created Step 33.

    The plant is tested to ensure that it is safe for people, animals and the environment.

  • How Are Gmos Created Step 44.

    Only after years of rigorous testing are the seeds from those plants made available to farmers.

GMOs Are Studied Carefully Before They Enter the Market

GM crops undergo more testing and oversight before commercialization than any other agriculture product, including conventional (non-GMO) crops. On top of the government safety approvals, GM crop data have been reviewed by third-party scientific experts who agree they’re safe, including:

  • Food and Drug Administration
  • World Health Organization
  • American Medical Association
  • European Academies Science Advisory Council
  • The Royal Society
  • National Academy of Sciences

What Foods Are GMOs?

There are currently eight commercially available GMO crops that appear on store shelves or are used to make other food ingredients—corn, soybeans, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, canola, papaya, and squash. GMO apples and potatoes have recently completed the FDA and USDA review process and will soon be available in stores as well.

What Foods Are GMOs?
What Foods Are GMOs?

GMOs Can Help Us Feed the World in a Sustainable Way

With food demand expected to grow significantly by 2050, GMOs are one of the tools that can help farmers sustainably grow enough for a growing world by using less of our precious resources. Using these seeds, we can conserve water and land—preserving natural habitat around the world.

We hope these GMO facts have helped make GMOs a little easier to understand. If you’re still seeking more GMO answers, please do not hesitate to ask us your questions. We encourage everyone to be part of the conversation!