GMOs unnatural? So are strawberries, Brussels sprouts and many other popular foods

strawberry x

By definition, a genetically modified organism is an organism produced through the production of heritable improvements in plants or animals for specific uses. This production can be accomplished either via genetic engineering or through more traditional methods. Read more about those here.

An important part of that definition is the phrase “through more traditional methods.” Although those methods are not defined specifically, they are methods that plant breeders have been using for many years to develop products that express certain desirable traits.

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[T]here are several fruits and vegetables that are now commonplace on grocery shelves which were not available growing in the wild hundreds of years ago. For example, until 300 years ago, there were no such things as brussels sprouts or orange carrots. What we eat as strawberries today were not even developed until the mid-1700’s; and there are several other fruits and vegetables that could make this list.

Related article:  From high-yielding rice to disease-resistant oranges, CRISPR-edited crops could save our favorite foods

Breeding plants that produce desirable traits has been going on long before the process of genetic modification was discovered. It is the sole reason that we can produce as much food and the wide variety of produce that we do.

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