Genetically Modified Organisms
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have been available to consumers since the early 1990s. A GMO is a plant, animal, or microorganism that has had its genetic material (DNA) changed using technology that generally involves the specific modification of DNA, including the transfer of specific DNA from one organism to another. Scientists often refer to this process as genetic engineering.
EPA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have worked together to ensure that crops produced through genetic engineering are safe for people, animals, and the environment.
EPA regulates the safety of the substances that act as pesticides in GMO plants, referred to as plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs). These often make GMO plants resistant to insects or disease. EPA also regulates the safety of other types of pesticides that are used on GMO and non-GMO crops.
Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative
To help increase consumer understanding of GMOs, in 2017, Congress provided funding for an Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative, which calls upon FDA to work with EPA and USDA to share science-based educational information about GMOs, beginning with answers to some basic GMO questions.
With this goal in mind, EPA, FDA, and USDA worked together to launch the Feed Your Mind education initiative.
The Feed Your Mind initiative provides science-based educational resources for consumers, health care professionals, teachers, and health educators to educate, inform, and broaden the understanding of agricultural biotechnology, the products of which are sometimes referred to as GMOs. The first phase of resources launched in early March 2020. The content in this initiative is for consumer education and is not intended for use in regulatory or policy decision-making.
Visit the Feed Your Mind webpage to find web content, fact sheets, infographics, and videos that answer questions such as:
- What makes it a GMO?
- Is it called GMO or something else?
- What GMO crops are out there?
- Why do we have GMOs?
- Do GMOs affect your health?
- Do GMO plants reduce pesticide use?
More information on GMO regulation
To learn more about how EPA regulates biotechnology for use in pest management, visit EPA's webpage.
To learn more about how GMOs are regulated across the federal government, visit the Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation.