Question: How can food be geneticly modified? (forgive me if i spelt geneticly wrong.)

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  1. Hi Awesomegal03,

    Food can be genetically modified in all sorts of ways. If we are talking about ‘transgenics’, scientists can switch genes on or off, or they can put a new gene into a species from an entirely different species. The most common example of this is pesticide resistance. Scientists have taken a gene from a bacterium in the soil that kills certain insect pests and they have inserted it into many different plant crops, so that the crops will kill the insects themselves. This means that farmers don’t have to use as much pesticide on these crops.

    Check out this link if you want more detailed information:


  2. Humans have been changing the genetic makeup of animals and plants for thousands of years. Look at all the breads of dog we have, they have all come from the wolf, but humans have selected the character they want in a dog and only breed with those individuals.

    A good example is a pug, it looks nothing like a wolf. Over the thousands of years that humans have kept dogs as pets we have been selecting only the dogs with flatter faces, short legs, and curled up tail to breed and have even flatter faced puppies. over time eventual the breed changes. This is called selective breeding.

    With new technology and our understanding of DNA, we can now make changes in animals very quickly in the laboratory (not over hundreds of years). for example (this is a big example to help you understand). We can find a gene in the pug that creates a flat face, and cut it out of the DNA and insert it into another animal (like a German Shepard) and then that animal will have a flat face.

    But this is a bit silly, and genetics is not to be played with. Blaire has good examples, of how GM food help us.


  3. Another great example of a genetically modified food is corn and wheat that can grow with very little water. This will be of great importance in the future as water become more and more scarce due to a growing human population and climate change. It could be used now in Africa to feed starving people in areas where crops wont grow due to there being very little rainfall in the area. Some countries allow GM foods but some countries are still opposed to it because there may be things that we haven’t considered.



  1. Wow that’s confusing!


    • Sorry if we confused you awesomegal03! Genetically modified foods is a big topic and there are lots of new developments happening everyday in this field of science. If you are confused about anything in particular, please feel free to ask more questions.


    • It is quite a complex process to be fair so its okay if your confused. I still get confused too and I am a geneticist! There are different ways to genetically modify an organism but the most common method is to ‘cut’ a gene from one species and ‘splice’ it into another species genome so you are giving the modified organism a new gene which could code for something like excreting a waxy substance from its cells so pests cant eat the fruit or enabling it to survive with very little water. To do this involves either attaching the genes to a virus or just physically inserting the extra DNA into the nucleus of the organism. There are a few other ways of doing it too such as using bacteria to transfer the gene to plants.

      Here is a website I found that explains it in simpler terms and in more detail: