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Gmo Speech

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WHAT ARE GMO’s

Today I’m going to be talking about GMO’s, which stands for genetically modified organism. While humans have had an impact on the genetics of plants for thousands of years. For example the ancient selection of wolves that would eventually become dogs, or the selection of certain plants to be moved or domesticated. However, a genetically modified organism defined by modern standards applies to an organism that has been altered through the use of genetic modification or genetic engineering techniques. Essentially, the technique involves identifying desired traits and characteristics from one organism and injecting them into another organism. This results in an organism that has the desired trait. Generally, GMO’s tend to be crops that have been modified to survive herbicide or that produce insecticide, enhance the nutritional value of the crop, or to increase the overall yield of the crop. There are also animals that have been genetically modified, which are referred to as “transgenic” animals. Transgenic animals include the transgenic mouse, commonly used in lab experiments. Interestingly enough, no commercial meat is directly genetically modified.

BACKGROUND
About 20 years after James Watson discovered the structure of DNA(1953), Scientists Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen developed the process of genetic modification. From there experimentation with genetic engineering led to the creation of GMO animals and GMO crops. By 1983 the US Supreme Court ruled that GMO’s could be patented, and by 1992 the first GMO Crop to be approved by the department of agriculture was the flavr savr tomatoes. One of the early pioneers in the GMO game was the company Monsanto.

HOW COMMON ARE GMO’s?
Currently, 80% of all processed food contains GMO’s, and because the standard American diet is 70% processed food, a large number of food items have...

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