You asked

What does it mean when foods are genetically modified?

When a food is genetically modified, it comes from a plant or animal that has been genetically altered. So, what does that mean? It basically means that scientists have taken genes from one living thing and placed them into another living thing.

Why do scientists do this? Plants are modified in an attempt to grow more nutritious food, to be tolerant of inclement weather, and to resist insects, and diseases. Although food from genetically altered animals is not yet on the market, scientists are researching ways to use this process to improve meats.

The issue of genetically modified foods is very controversial. Supporters say that genetically modified foods will not affect a person’s health, while opponents say that not enough testing has been done.

There are many foods on the shelves of grocery shops that are genetically modified. Most people eat these foods and never even think about this. And, in most countries, there are no requirements that the labels inform you of this. The only way you can avoid eating a food that has been genetically modified is to buy organic only. Even with organic food however, there is still a possibility that pollen from a genetically modified plant could drift into a field of organic foods and cross pollinate.

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