Genetically modified foods (GM foods or biotech foods) are foods made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), specifically, genetically modified crops. GMOs have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. These techniques are much more precise than mutagenesis (mutation breeding) where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change. Other techniques by which humans modify food organisms include selective breeding and somaclonal variation. RECENT HISTORY
Scientists first discovered that DNA can transfer between organisms in 1946. The first genetically modified plant was produced in 1983, using an antibiotic-resistant tobacco plant. In 1994, the transgenic tomato was approved by the FDA for marketing in the US - the modification allowed the tomato to delay ripening after picking. In the US in 1995, several transgenic crops received marketing approval. In 2000, with the creation of golden rice, scientists genetically modified food to increase its nutrient value for the first time. As of 2011, the U.S. leads a list of multiple countries in the production of GM crops, and 25 GM crops had received regulatory approval to be grown commercially. The steps of development of GM crops are: 1. Isolation of the gene of interest, 2. Insertion of the gene into a transfer vector, 3. Plant transformation, 4. Selection of the modified plants, 5. Regeneration into whole plants via tissue culture, 6. Verification of transformation and characterization of the inserted DNA fragment, 7. Testing of plant performance, and 8. Safety assessment.