Judge GMOs by improved traits not breeding process

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Many people have strong opinions about genetically modified plants, also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. But sometimes there’s confusion around what it means to be a GMO. It also may be much more sensible to judge a plant by its specific traits rather than the way it was produced – GMO or not.

Lots of people conflate the idea of a GMO plant with one that’s been created to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, also known by the brand name Roundup. It’s true that the most well-known GMO crops currently grown contain a gene that makes them resistant to glyphosate, which allows farmers to spray the chemical to kill weeds while allowing their crop to grow. But that’s just one example of a gene inserted into a plant.

Related article:  EPA: Dow's Enlist Duo combining glyphosate and 2,4-D herbicides poses no serious safety concerns

It’s sensible to evaluate GMOs not on how they are made, but rather on what new traits the modified plants have. For instance, while it can be argued that glyphosate resistance in plants is not good for the environment because of increased use of the pesticide, other GMOs are unlikely to cause this problem.

For example, it’s difficult see how the controversial golden rice, which has been engineered to produce vitamin A in the rice grains to be more nutritious, is worse for the environment than ordinary rice.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Not all GMO plants are created equally: it’s the trait, not the method, that’s important

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