Genetically modified foods, also known as GMOs, are constantly being talked about in the media. Due to ongoing paranoia about them, people frequently propose laws that require them to be explicitly labeled.
Unsurprisingly, large food companies are huge supporters of GMOs, as it allows them to more cheaply and efficiently produce their food. In order to understand whether GMOs are something to worry about, it's important to know what they are, and how they work.
New technology has allowed scientists to essentially insert favorable traits into foods, allowing them to have features that natural versions of that food wouldn't have. This could be something as simple as taking the gene from food that is very resilient to cold weather and inserting it into strawberries to allow them to have that same trait.
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Scientists usually use viruses or bacteria to insert these genes into the DNA. In plants, for instance, many food producers insert genes that will make the plant resistant to viruses or insecticides. Advances such as these result in much more productive farms, which translates to cheaper costs and a larger food supply without waste.
This, in turn, is an incredibly useful tool for decreasing world hunger, as it allows more food to be produced with limited resources and in sometimes harsh climates.
Even though GMO plant-based foods are known, animal-based foods still have a way to go. Work is being done on the development of animal GMO foods, but they were not approved. Once the technology is more mature, it will allow farmers to have animals that produce more meat, faster, and are less susceptible to diseases.