Years ago, the only tool available to scientists and farmers was crossbreeding plants to develop varieties with more desirable traits. About 20 years ago, scientists started using the method called genetic engineering to create genetically modified crops (GMOs). Genetic engineering accomplishes the same task as cross breeding, but much more precisely.
Nutritionally, genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops are the same. The difference lies in the genetic makeup of the seed. Genetic engineering adds naturally existing genes into a plant to achieve a favorable characteristic, like the ability to repel insects or the ability to grow crops using less water.
Genetically modified varieties of crops available and grown in the US today include alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soybeans, squash, and sugar beets.
Most Indiana soybean farmers choose to plant biotech crops because it helps them use less water, fuel, fertilizer and crop protection products, while growing more food. This saves energy and resources, which means that you can be confident in the fact that biotech crops are not only safe, but are also improving the environment.
Farmers have grown genetically engineered crops for more than 20 years, and the FDA, USDA and EPA test each biotech seed for an average of 13 to16 years before it is approved for farming.