Question: As a master gardener, I am disheartened that your pest control article promotes GM plants as a pest control medium for home gardens.
Answer: As a former Master Gardeners instructor, I am discouraged that you are confused about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Sometimes people argue over a controversial topic without knowing the definitions of the words they are using. Sometimes they are confused by acronyms.
For example, let’s look at the acronyms and the terms “GEO” and “GMO”. “GEO” is the abbreviation for genetically modified organism and “GMO” is the abbreviation for genetically modified organism. These two terms are often mistakenly used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.
The United States Department of Agriculture defines genetic modification as: “The production of heritable improvements in plants or animals for specific uses, through genetic engineering or other more traditional methods.” Some countries other than the United States use this term to refer specifically to engineering. “
The USDA defines genetic engineering as: “The manipulation of the genes of an organism by introducing, eliminating or rearranging specific genes using the methods of modern molecular biology, in particular techniques called DNA techniques. recombinant. “
In the definition of genetic modification, modification can be EITHER genetic engineering or “more traditional methods”. Traditional methods include the simple selection of ancient plants that has taken place for thousands of years! The USDA is correct that genetic engineering is a type of genetic modification. According to the USDA definition, all seeds and garden plants created by traditional plant breeding are genetically modified.