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The Life Cycle of GMO Seeds Explained | GMO Answers
What are GMO seeds? GMOs are genetically modified organisms that have been altered to give them an advantage over a specific environmental challenge, like a disease, natural element (such as drought) or pests.
Many people don’t understand what is used to create GMOs. Some people believe that GMOs are unsafe or that chemicals are injected into foods after a harvest. This is not the case.
This video explores the basics of biotechnology through the eyes of Jake – a GMO seed. Find out about the history of plant breeding, why we need genetically modified seeds, how GMOs are created in the first place, and the many ways crops from GM seeds can be used.
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Oh hey, I’m Jake, a GMO seed. I’m here to tell you about the life of a seed.
So, let’s start with the basics. Some people think that GMOs are created after harvest by injecting chemicals into foods, or are added artificial ingredients. But that’s not the case. The truth is, GMOs – in agriculture – are seeds.
So, what is a GMO seed? Well, to understand that, let’s talk about the history of farming and plant breeding. Farmers began breeding plants for desirable traits when farming first started. Although early farmers didn’t know it, they were modifying the genetics of plants by continually breeding different plants together, harvesting the seeds and selecting the best performing plants to grow again the following year.
Over the years, seed breeders and scientists built on this knowledge. And it’s resulted in some pretty dramatic changes. Check it out. These techniques gave us all sorts of new foods including conventional and organic. One of the new techniques seed breeders and scientists introduced was genetic engineering. With this, we’re not making dramatic changes, we’re making very specific changes to a seed’s DNA involving one or a few genes to produce plants with specific traits, like the ability to fight disease, bugs or weeds. The crops grown from these seeds are referred to as GMOs. GMO seeds – like me – are unique because we go through a lot of safety testing and are reviewed by up to three different government agencies in the U.S. before we can get planted.
OK. back to the basics. So farmers can choose what kind of seeds they want to use. Some plants are attacked by natural predators like worms and bugs, so farmers might choose GMO seeds that protect them specifically against those pests.
This is my friend after he was attacked by a bug. Sorry dude. But GMO corn plants – grown from GMO seeds like me – are protected so we don’t end up like my friend over here. This protection also helps reduce crop change – like this – and the need for extra pesticide applications.
So, then the farmers plant us. And then, we grow into plants. Look at that. Gorgeous. No matter which type of seed the farmer chooses, the food produced from them has the same proteins and nutritional makeup. We were just developed differently.
When the crops are harvested, they can be used in a variety of ways – like the food you eat, plant-based products, food for animals and over 12,000 other uses.
So that’s it – now you know the life of a seed! See you later.
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