There is so much hype now about buying organic and avoiding any food that may be considered GMO. This is a great video relating to farming, feeding the world and the myths about GMO foods.
Like the computer and wireless communication, genetically modified food is the result of recent innovation.
Begun in the mid-1800s, the science of genetics gained significant momentum in the second half of the 20th century. The discovery of the DNA molecule in 1953, the advent of genetic engineering in the late 1970s and the mapping of the human genome in the 1990s drove the biotechnology boom and led to the genetic modification of organisms becoming a vital new research field.
What is genetically modified food? Essentially, a GMO food is one derived from an organism that has had some of its heritable traits changed. This could involve:
- Traditional techniques of crossbreeding
- Using chemicals or radiation to alter the genetic make-up of the organism’s cells in a process called mutagenesis.
- Applying recombinant DNA or genetic engineering techniques – for instance, introducing a gene from one species into another species.
Regardless of how they are produced, GMO foods are regulated by Health Canada, which is responsible for establishing standards for the safety and nutritional quality of all foods sold in Canada.