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Genetically Modified Organisms

What are Genetically Modified Organisms?

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any item that has been altered at the molecular level.

In agriculture, GMOs are typically created in order to boost yields, improve quality, and repel insects.


  • An international panel of scientists found that genetically altered crops are as safe as traditional crops.
  • Genetic modification allows crops to be grown with additional vitamins and nutrients.
  • Crops can also be engineered to repel certain insects.
  • Foods might be grown in places that are today ridden with drought or floods.


  • Many scientists believe that GMOs increase new toxins and allergens in foods.
  • May increase the use of chemicals.
  • May create herbicide-resistant weeds.
  • May disturb the ecological balance.

For More Information:
Biotechnology Industry Organization
Union of Concerned Scientists
Public Broadcasting Service
Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology

Industry Topics