Genetically Modified Food (GMF)

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Genetically Modified Food (GMF)'

Food that is produced from organisms that have had their genes engineered to introduce traits that have not been created through natural selection. Genetically modified foods have been commercially available since the 1990s, and is most often associated with fruits and vegetables. Genetically modifying a food involves introducing a gene into a fruit, vegetable, or animal from another organism. Broad scientific consensus suggests that genetically modified foods present no more danger than conventional food.

BREAKING DOWN 'Genetically Modified Food (GMF)'

Proponents of genetically modified foods point to the benefits of introducing desirable genetic traits into food. For example, scientists may engineer fruits and vegetables to have higher yields, to resist certain diseases or pests, or to be able to tolerate pesticides or herbicides.  The 20th century Green Revolution owed much of its success to the introduction of plants that could produce higher yields in more adverse conditions, such as in the presence of less water. Norman Borlaug won a Nobel Prize for his work with wheat, and helped drastically improve wheat yields in Mexico, India, and Pakistan since the 1950s.

Critics of genetically modified foods have argued that this type of food should be labeled differently than food produced conventionally. They argue that there is uncertainty as to the effect of genetically modified organisms on the health of consumers, as well as to the impact of such organisms on the environment. For example, genetically modified organisms may squeeze out conventional fruits and vegetables from the environment, which may impact the animals, insects, and other organisms that have traditionally used those plants to survive. Other theoretical threats are that genes from genetically modified organisms may move to conventional crops (outcrossing), or may be transferred from food to the consumer.

Several countries have passed or proposed legislation regulating the development and use of genetically modified organisms in the food supply.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Food Industry ETF

    An exchange-traded fund that invests in food and beverage companies, ...
  2. Biotechnology Industry ETF

    An exchange-traded fund that invests specifically in the rapidly ...
  3. Food And Agriculture Organization ...

    A United Nations agency that works on international efforts to ...
  4. Crop Yield

    A measurement of the amount of a crop that was harvested per ...
  5. Agricultural Sector Investment ...

    A World Bank program focused on agricultural development in Africa. ...
  6. Research And Development - R&D

    Investigative activities that a business chooses to conduct with ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    How To Do Qualitative Analysis On Biotech Companies

    These analytical methods will help you size up a biotech company and make a winning investment.
  2. Stock Analysis

    How Gilead Sciences Became A Big Name In Biotech

    How does a company start with an unfortunate bout of dengue fever and grow to be a multibillion dollar corporation?
  3. Investing

    Pharmaceutical Vs. Biotech Investing: Is It Worth The Risk?

    Investopedia explains: Both pharma and biotech stocks are faced with a costly process that, when successful, can produce extremely profitable products. However, the process is unpredictable.
  4. Investing Basics

    Should You Invest In Agricultural Commodities And Stocks?

    With rising food prices and a booming agricultural industry, we look at whether the current market is a good investment opportunity.
  5. Investing Basics

    A Primer For Investing In Agriculture

    In this article, we'll look at the agriculture sector and the different ways investors can approach it.
  6. Options & Futures

    Harvesting Crop Production Reports

    Find out what grain investors need to know to analyze USDA reports.
  7. Investing

    Using DCF In Biotech Valuation

    Valuing firms in this sector can seem like a black art, but there is a systematic way to pin a price on potential.
  8. Economics

    Top Agricultural Producing Countries

    Discover which countries produce the most agricultural products, which export the most and what is being done to increase production.
  9. Markets

    A Primer On The Biotech Sector

    Investing in the biotech sector can involve both huge losses and major gains.
  10. Active Trading

    The Ups And Downs Of Biotechnology

    This volatile sector can provide huges gains, but there's also lots of downside.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does the role of Medicare/Medicaid affect the drugs sector in the U.S.?

    Medicare and Medicaid have enormous influence on the pharmaceutical, or drugs, sector in the United States. For instance, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What factors make the drug sector good for value investing?

    The drugs sector is a good choice for value investing because it always has demand and a competitive moat. This simplifies ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What annual return could an investor expect on average from the drug sector?

    The drugs sector consists of a diverse group of companies of different sizes in terms of market cap, revenues, profitability ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the primary factors that drive share prices in the drugs sector?

    The primary factors that drive share prices in the drugs sector are mergers and acquisitions activity, spending on health ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does the profit margin compare for a generic drug versus a brand name drug?

    Profit margins are higher for generic drugs compared to brand-name drugs. However, total profits on brand-name drugs are ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What level of return on equity is average for a company in the drugs sector?

    The drugs sector provides a variety of investing opportunities ranging from major drug manufacturing companies to generic ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  2. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  3. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
  4. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that can be deducted from taxable income by a widow, thereby reducing ...
  5. Wedding Warrant

    A warrant that can only be exercised if the host asset, typically a bond or preferred stock, is surrendered. Until the call ...
  6. Marlboro Friday

    A reference to Friday, April 2, 1993, when Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, announced that it would be cutting ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!