Transgenic foods

Transgenic soy

Introduction - what they are

In recent years, with the development of research in the field of genetic engineering, several studies and scientific studies have shown important progress in the manipulation of genetic material from plants, animals and humans. Targets for controversial discussions about their advantages and disadvantages, the science of GMOs is in full swing in major laboratories and universities around the world. Environmentalists point out that transgenic foods can cause irreversible impacts on the environment.

Controversy about GMOs

Within this scientific debate, transgenic foods have aroused great interest. They are genetically modified in laboratories and research centers to improve product quality (animal, vegetable, grain, fruit, etc.). Plant and animal genetic materials are manipulated and often combined successively. Genetically modified organisms, after the laboratory stage, are implanted in agriculture or livestock. Several nations are adopting this method as a way of increasing production and lowering pesticide and waste costs.


In agriculture, for example, a widely adopted technique is the introduction of insecticide gene in plants. In this way, the plant can produce resistance to certain crop diseases. Genetic engineering research has made many advances in DNA and RNA manipulation.


Biotechnology (technology applied to research in the plant and animal kingdoms) also adopts these techniques in food production. While genetic engineering has used and certain methods and procedures of production of human tissues and organs. Even living beings (animals so far) have emerged from this research. The best known example was the Dolly sheep. The cloning technique was used to generate a new living being.

Last reviewed: 10/10/2019

By Elaine Barbosa de Souza
Undergraduate student in Biological Sciences, Methodist University of São Paulo.