What are GMOs?
From an agricultural standpoint, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants developed through a process in which a copy of a desired gene or section of genetic material from one plant or organism is placed into another plant to achieve a desired trait, such as resistance to an insect or improving the ripening process in order to better meet a customer’s market need.
This transgenic biotechnology is an extremely precise method of plant breeding based on a complete understanding of the plant’s genetic code, allowing scientists to change a single characteristic or trait in the plant without changing anything else about the plant’s genetic makeup.
Biotechnology is used to develop traits that make crops more tolerable or resistant to plant diseases, pests, extreme environmental conditions such as drought, and specific plant herbicides. These traits not only help keep plants healthier but can also help maintain or improve our environment. For example, herbicide tolerant crops allow farmers to use less tillage which reduces nutrient runoff and soil erosion (helping our rivers) and retain additional soil moisture (requiring less irrigation) all while maintaining yield, nutritional value and handling experiences.