Genetically modified organism

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Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals, usually food crops, that have been modified at the genetic level by adding genetic material from other species so that they are more useful as food crops. Typical modifications include resistance to herbicides, production of a nutrient, or increased growth rate.

Some genetically modified organisms such as golden rice, rice modified to include a precursor to vitamin A, show promise in solving actual problems rather than simply increasing profits for multinational corporations.[1]

Public resistance

Opposition to GMOs is a prominent part of the progressive agenda and has broad, nearly unanimous support, among European and North American progressives. Monsanto, a multinational corporation which produces Roundup, an herbicide, and has developed many "Roundup Ready" crops is also a target. Their aggressive behavior with respect to exploiting their patented crop varieties has increased their value as a focus for organizing efforts. A global "March Against Monsanto" on May 24, 2013 drew 2 million protestors. After a Facebook page, March Against Monsanto, was created on February 28 calling for a rally against the company's practices awareness of the protests were spread through Anti-Media.org and A Revolt.org[2]

Objective dangers

At present there is little evidence that GMOs have any direct effect on health; although there is some level of unknown risk due to the exotic nature of the genes, some from viruses or bacteria, which are used to modify the organisms. There is a danger of spread of the traits of modified organisms in unexpected ways, for example resulting in development of Roundup Ready weeds. Pollen drift from GMO crops pose a danger to production of unmodified crops, and to endangered varieties.

See also

External links and further reading

Notes and references

  1. Amy Harmon. "Golden Rice: Lifesaver?" (News Analysis), August 24, 2013. Retrieved on August 25, 2013. 
  2. "Millions march against GM crops: Organisers celebrate huge global turnout and say they will continue until Monsanto and other GM manufacturers listen" Associated Press article in The Guardian May 25, 2013
  3. "Food Politics Creates Rift in Panel on Labeling" article by Stephanie Strom in The New York Times April 10, 2013