Conversation Questions About GMOs

By Monsanto

Here are some of the top questions we’ve received about GMOs. Still have questions of your own? Feel free to ask us.

What is a GMO?

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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 stands for Genetically Modified Organism. The process of producing GMO seed involves taking a beneficial trait that helps a living thing thrive in nature, like the ability to use water efficiently, and adapts that trait to a new plant so it can better survive in its environment. These traits can help crops in many ways—including water efficiency and disease protection—leading to improved harvests.

You can also check out the video above to learn more about what a GMO is in 60 seconds.

View Original Question

What is a GMO?

Description
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 stands for Genetically Modified Organism. The process of producing GMO seed involves taking a beneficial trait that helps a living thing thrive in nature, like the ability to use water efficiently, and adapts that trait to a new plant so it can better survive in its environment. These traits can help crops in many ways—including water efficiency and disease protection—leading to improved harvests.

You can also check out the video above to learn more about what a GMO is in 60 seconds.

View Original Question

What is the difference between a Hybrid and a GMO Seed?

The main difference is the process used to create the seed.

Hybrid seeds are created using traditional breeding methods where two different but compatible plants are crossbred to create a new plant—also known as a hybrid. An example of this is the Honeycrisp apple. Developed through the University of Minnesota's apple breeding program, the Honeycrisp is a hybrid produced by breeding two different apples to create a new, crisper and juicier type of apple.

A GMO seed is made when scientists take a beneficial trait from one living thing and adapt that trait to a plant. For example, by adding two genes to a rice plant, rice is able to accumulate beta-carotene in its grains. Scientists and humanitarians believe this new type of rice, called Golden Rice, can increase Vitamin A in people's diets and help prevent childhood blindness. Learn more about the Golden Rice Project.

View Original Question

What is the difference between a Hybrid and a GMO Seed?

The main difference is the process used to create the seed.

Hybrid seeds are created using traditional breeding methods where two different but compatible plants are crossbred to create a new plant—also known as a hybrid. An example of this is the Honeycrisp apple. Developed through the University of Minnesota's apple breeding program, the Honeycrisp is a hybrid produced by breeding two different apples to create a new, crisper and juicier type of apple.

A GMO seed is made when scientists take a beneficial trait from one living thing and adapt that trait to a plant. For example, by adding two genes to a rice plant, rice is able to accumulate beta-carotene in its grains. Scientists and humanitarians believe this new type of rice, called Golden Rice, can increase Vitamin A in people's diets and help prevent childhood blindness. Learn more about the Golden Rice Project.

View Original Question

What foods have GMOs in them?

Currently, there are ten GMO crops grown by farmers in the United States including those that have been grown for many years—namely corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash. After over a decade of testing and development, GMO apples and potatoes have more recently completed the FDA and USDA review process and will soon be arriving in a grocery store near you. Other than apples and potatoes, the only other GMO products you might find in the produce aisle are sweet corn, squash and papaya. If you'd like to know about a specific branded item or a processed food item, the best way to find out is usually to ask the brand directly.

View Original Question

What foods have GMOs in them?

Currently, there are ten GMO crops grown by farmers in the United States including those that have been grown for many years—namely corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash. After over a decade of testing and development, GMO apples and potatoes have more recently completed the FDA and USDA review process and will soon be arriving in a grocery store near you. Other than apples and potatoes, the only other GMO products you might find in the produce aisle are sweet corn, squash and papaya. If you'd like to know about a specific branded item or a processed food item, the best way to find out is usually to ask the brand directly.

View Original Question

Is it safe to feed my kids GMOs?

Many of us here at Monsanto are parents and obviously care about our kids’ safety and health. Hundreds of specialized scientists such as geneticists, nutritionists, plant scientists, and physicians that work at Monsanto have spent a lot of time thinking about and studying GMOs. Because of the intense work these people do, we all feel confident in feeding them to our kids. A big part of that confidence comes from knowing that each and every product is tested to ensure it’s as safe as other foods. Additionally, several independent experts have looked at GMOs and come to the same conclusion. This includes groups like the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, the World Health Organization and government agencies like the FDA.

View Original Question

Is it safe to feed my kids GMOs?

Many of us here at Monsanto are parents and obviously care about our kids’ safety and health. Hundreds of specialized scientists such as geneticists, nutritionists, plant scientists, and physicians that work at Monsanto have spent a lot of time thinking about and studying GMOs. Because of the intense work these people do, we all feel confident in feeding them to our kids. A big part of that confidence comes from knowing that each and every product is tested to ensure it’s as safe as other foods. Additionally, several independent experts have looked at GMOs and come to the same conclusion. This includes groups like the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, the World Health Organization and government agencies like the FDA.

View Original Question

What are some long term studies that show that GMO crops are safe?

There have been many long-term studies1 that demonstrate the safety of GMO crops. In 2012, a group of scientists reviewed 24 of these long-term studies and concluded..."The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed." The FDA, USDA and World Health Organization have also weighed in and shared findings concluding that GMOs are safe. If you’d like to verify these claims for yourself, a good place to start would be a database of independent studies by experts from around the world posted on the Genetic Literacy Project.

1Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A, Ricroch AE. 2012. Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review. Food Chem Toxicol. 50:1134-48

View Original Question

What are some long term studies that show that GMO crops are safe?

There have been many long-term studies1 that demonstrate the safety of GMO crops. In 2012, a group of scientists reviewed 24 of these long-term studies and concluded..."The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed." The FDA, USDA and World Health Organization have also weighed in and shared findings concluding that GMOs are safe. If you’d like to verify these claims for yourself, a good place to start would be a database of independent studies by experts from around the world posted on the Genetic Literacy Project.

1Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A, Ricroch AE. 2012. Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review. Food Chem Toxicol. 50:1134-48

View Original Question