Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, are plants and animals that have had their DNA artificially altered with genetic engineering techniques such as gene splicing. A more natural or “organic” version of this process is called selective breeding.
Humans have been practicing selective breeding for thousands of years in livestock, pets, and crops. For example, Great Danes, English Shepherds, and Chihuahuas all spring from a shared wolf ancestry but were cross-bred for different traits such as size and coat length. Different varieties of apples – Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious, to name a few popular ones – have been carefully cultivated for consistent tastes, textures, and colors.
When it comes to food especially, there is much debate over whether genetically modified food is safe to eat, or if organic – completely natural – crops are the healthier choice. Would you eat an apple that’s been altered to resist cold and pesticides, a tomato modified for longer shelf life, or a salmon bioengineered to mature rapidly?
Much research has been done for both sides of the argument. Sign in to Opposing Viewpoints with your library card and PIN, and read articles about GM versus Organic farming and breeding to make an informed decision. Which side of the divide do you stand on?
"Genetically modified organism." Environmental Encyclopedia, edited by Deirdre S. Blanchfield, Gale, 2011. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/CV2644150611/OVIC?u=santacc_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=9d013311. Accessed 6 Apr. 2022.
"Genetically Modified Food." Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2021. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/PC3010999249/OVIC?u=santacc_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=d22e7673. Accessed 6 Apr. 2022.
Chien, Shanley. "Genetically Modified Food Is Healthy." Global Sustainability, edited by Dedria Bryfonski, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010988211/OVIC?u=santacc_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=b35029c4. Accessed 6 Apr. 2022. Originally published as "GMOs: The Scarlet Letters of the Grocery Aisle?" Medill Reports Chicago, 10 Mar. 2015.
"Genetically Modified Food Is Unsafe." Global Sustainability, edited by Dedria Bryfonski, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010988210/OVIC?u=santacc_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=aa3b9335. Accessed 6 Apr. 2022. Originally published as "10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs,", 11 Apr. 2015.