For thousands of years, humans have been modifying food to suit their needs. Research states that our ancestors wouldn’t be able to recognize the food we eat today- the shapes, sizes and varieties would have shocked them. Most of the foods we eat today were developed through traditional breeding methods, which took a long time to achieve. But after scientists developed genetic engineering in the 1970s, making more specific changes in a shorter amount of time became possible. “GMO” (genetically modified organism) is what consumers and popular media use to describe foods created through genetic engineering.
Genetic engineering involves identifying genetic information that gives an organism a desired trait, copying that information from the said organism, inserting that information into the DNA of another and then finally, growing the new organism.
Given how long GMOs have been around, why do they draw so much scepticism? Not only have GMOs revolutionized food over time, but they are also a possible solution to food security. GMO crops have higher yields than conventional crops. They can be engineered to grow in harsh climatic condition, resist pests and diseases and offer the desired nutritional value.
The debate on GMOs has been going on for more than 20 years. However, many of these apprehensions are scientifically unfounded. Take a look at the video below to learn more about GMOs.