What is genetically modified food?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

For years, scientists have been cross-breeding plants and animals to create the most desirable traits for our food. For example, the golden delicious apple is merged with the kid's orange-red breed of apple to create the particular flavor and heartiness of the gala apple. For over a century these practices were limited to combining the traits of organisms only within the same species.

Today, due to advances in biotechnology, that is no longer the case. Scientists can now genetically engineer different species so that they share the same genetic material. They do so by extracting DNA from one species and injecting it into another. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are commonly used in the food industry to create plants and seeds that are not only resistant to certain insects and pesticides, but can be grown in less than favorable conditions.

GMOs are highly controversial, but there are legitimate arguments on both sides of the debate.

This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Food Production & Health

Hawaii Health Alert: Should You Be Worried About GMOs?
Hawaii Health Alert: Should You Be Worried About GMOs?
It’s almost impossible to turn on the TV without seeing news reports or commercials about GMOs. You’ve probably encountered GMO-free labels on product...
Read More
How are food oils produced via chemical extraction?
Michael T. Murray, NDMichael T. Murray, ND
With chemical extraction, the material is typically rolled into meal, for example, seed meal or corn...
More Answers
Are fortified food products safe for children?
Environmental Working Group (EWG)Environmental Working Group (EWG)
Eating fresh foods that naturally contain vitamins and minerals has significant health benefits and,...
More Answers
Should I Eat Organic Food?
Should I Eat Organic Food?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.