Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

pp 1127-1135


GM Food, Nutrition, Safety, and Health

  • Lise NordgardAffiliated withGenØk-Centre of Biosafety Email author 
  • , Idun Merete GronsbergAffiliated withGenØk-Centre of Biosafety
  • , Anne Ingeborg MyhrAffiliated withGenØk-Centre of Biosafety


Agriculture; Ethics; Food science; GM crops; GM foods; Risk; Socioeconomics


Research on and development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been facilitated by modern biotechnological techniques. The first GM plant, a tobacco plant expressing an antibiotic resistance gene taken from a bacterium, was grown in a greenhouse in 1983. Since then a variety of GM crop plants have been released into agricultural fields. At present, herbicide-resistant crops are the most widely grown GM plants (approximately 70 %). These GM crops contain genes that enable them to degrade ingredients in herbicides and imply that farmers can control weeds by herbicides as well as low tillage practices. Genes from the Bacillus thuringiensis have been inserted in plants to make them resist insect attacks and are the second most popular GM crops at the market together with plants that contain stacked genes, a combination of herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. At present, there are ...

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