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From: Marie Oser (
Subject:         Re: GMO - what is that?
Date: April 2, 2006 at 2:45 pm PST

In Reply to: GMO - what is that? posted by Christine L. on March 23, 2006 at 5:33 pm:

This is the acronym for "Genetically Modified Organism" and defines the use of artificial technology to cross one species with another and includes any food product that has been altered at the gene level.

Genetically modified foods are also frequently described as “genetically engineered”, “genetically altered” or “genetically manipulated." This process can include gene transference and cell fusion.

A transgenic plant contains one or more genes introduced not by classical breeding, but in an artificial way. Even genes from unrelated species can be introduced into another species with this technology.

Unlike traditional plant breeding, genetic engineering is a process that inserts genes from an animal, plant, bacterium, or virus into a different organism (most often a plant), and irreversibly alters the genetic code.

The genetic code in all living things is the “blueprint” that determines all of the physical characteristics and therefore alters or creates a "desired mutation" in the organism that receives the gene.

With this technology, scientists have created tomatoes with a longer shelf life by adding flounder genes, soybeans that are resistant to weed killers, potatoes that produce their own pesticides, and potatoes with jellyfish genes that glow in the dark when they need water.

I stay clear of GMO products whenever I can.

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