“A GMO is a plant or animal that has been genetically modified through the addition of a small amount of genetic material from other organisms through molecular techniques.” (Bessin, 1999 rev. 2004, p.1). (This was something that was in our Bt Corn lab report)
Most common and widely produced transgenic or genetically modified crops in the US are corn, soybeans, and cotton. Genetically engineered crops became available in the US commercially beginning in 1996. (This is from the pdf www.foodandwaterwatch.org/reports/genetically-engineered-food/) (Not sure if we site on power point slides)
With the discovery of the human genome in the 1950’s changes in the way biotechnology methods were done happened. This change allowed for breeders to be able to take genes from different species and insert them into the DNA of a host organism that is a different species.
Prior to the 1950’s discovery hybrid seeds were bred within the same species of plants.
Here is a quote off of the website: http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/workspace/sect008/s8g5/history.htm
“Biotechnology, genetic modification, transgenic crops, bacillus thuringiensis, are words and phrases being tossed around in the debate on genetically manipulating food, but what does this all mean? The language of genetic manipulation can be one of the greatest barriers to many people’s understanding of the technology.”
“The manipulation of an organism’s genetic make-up in order to create or enhance desirable characteristics from the same or another species.”
Some statistics from same website:
As of 2004, 8.25 million farmers in 17 countries were growing genetically modified crops.
Soybeans made up 60%, corn (maize) was 23%, cotton made up 11% and canola made up 6%.
Also as of 2004 the United States was using 47.6 million hectares for genetically modified crops. Argentina comes in second to the US with 16.2 million hectares.