Do genetically modified plants contain animal genes?

Good question.  We have been asked this question many times and have been told in-fanatically by many well meaning folks that GMO’s  in our current food contain animal genes.  Work is being done to produce medical solutions from plants using animal gene makers but mostly for bio-medical benefits The following is a excerpt from a clear explanation  of what is going on with GMO technology in our foods vs the hysteria concerning “Frakin-plants or insects such as”, etc.

The following is a summary of an fact based article which lays out the real science.

“”There have been some experiments involving inserting animal genes into plants, but none of those experiments have resulted in GMOs that are being grown for food anywhere. There is the classic case of an antifreeze gene from fish put into tomatoes to try to increase cold tolerance, but that experiment was never commercialized. Ventria Biosciences has a rice plant which produces human lysozyme, which is an enzyme that destroys certain kinds of bacteria, and is found in tears, saliva, ear wax, etc. They are trying to develop a cheap way to produce lysozyme to prevent diarrhea in developing countries. I’m not sure what the status of their project is, but I know the rice with the human lysozyme gene exists.There is also a genetically engineered carrot culture that produces an enzyme to treat Gaucher’s Disease but it is grown as a culture of cells in a vat, and not as carrot plants.””

“”Moving genes between animals and plants often brings up the “ick” factor with many people, and as a result there were some USDA projects to biofortify maize with iron that were discontinued because they involved animal genes. All life shares a common ancestor, and sometimes genes move between different species, and even between kingdoms in nature. The golden pea aphid is an insect that makes its own Vitamin A thanks to genes it picked up from a fungus. It is very fascinating. It makes you wonder, is the aphid now part fungus? Or is it still just an animal with borrowed genes? Can we consider them to be fungal genes anymore, or are they now aphid genes?””

Now that we are done with the philosophy, back to the science. There are no plants grown for food crops anywhere in the world that we are aware of that have been approved for human food or animal feed that contain genes taken from animals via genetic engineering. Most GMOs on the market use genes from microorganisms or other plants, and in the case of some GMO animals, they contain genes from other (or the same) animals.

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