About GE Foods

What are Genetically Engineered Foods / GMOs?

Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs.
-From the glossary on the Monsanto website.

Organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.
-World Health Organization

“Genetically Engineered Foods”, “Genetically modified organisms,” or GMOs, are organisms that have been created through application of transgenic, gene-splicing techniques that are part of biotechnology. These transgenic methods for moving genes around are also called “genetic engineering,” or GE.

This relatively new science allows DNA (genetic material) from one species to be transferred into another species, creating transgenic organisms with combinations of genes from plants, animals, bacteria, and even viral gene pools. The mixing of genes from different species that have never shared genes in the past is what makes GMOs and GE crops so unique. It is impossible to create such transgenic organisms through traditional crossbreeding methods.

History of GE Foods 

(Via Food and Water Watch)

1992 – Calgene’s GE Flavr SavrTM tomatoes become first GE food on the market after approval by FDA.

1994 – Calgene’s GE canola approved by USDA.

1994 – Monsanto’s first Roundup Ready soybean approved by USDA.

1995 – Monsanto’s NewLeafTM potato, the first pest protected plant, approved by the EPA and FDA in 1995.

1996 – Monsanto’s first GE insect-resistant corn variety approved by USDA.

1997 – Calgene’s GE insect resistant Bt cotton approved by USDA.

1999 – GE papaya strains developed by Cornell University and the University of Hawaii approved by EPA.

2005 – Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa approved by USDA. This approval was challenged in court and planting of GE alfalfa was prohibited.

2005 – Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets approved by USDA. This approval is challenged in court and planting of GE sugar beets was prohibited, although USDA allowed some of the crop to be planted.

2009 – Start of Obama Administration

2009 – Food and Drug Administration approved ATryn, an anticlotting agent that is produced in the milk of transgenic goats. This was the first U.S. approval of a GE animal.

2009 – GE papaya strain developed by University of Florida approved by USDA.

2010 – USDA approves Syngenta’s “stacked” corn variety (MIR162) that contains multiple GE traits, including resistance to a variety of corn pests.

2010 – Pioneer’s GE soybean, modified to produce increased amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic) and decreased amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic) approved by USDA.

2011 – Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa is approved by USDA, with no planting restrictions.

2011 – USDA allows planting of Roundup Ready sugar beets despite unresolved legal challenges to the department’s approval of the crop.

2011 – Syngenta’s corn variety, genetically engineered to produce an enzyme that facilitates ethanol production, approved by USDA.

2011- Monsanto announces its intention to bring its stacked Roundup ready and insect-resistant sweet corn to market in 2012.

2011- Syngenta’s insect-resistant Bt cotton is approved by USDA.

2011- Monsanto’s insect-resistant Bt soybean, the first of its kind, is approved by USDA.

2011- USDA approves Bayer CropScience’s stacked herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant cotton.