The genes to be inserted are already well-known from their source of origin and are used because the researchers and developers expect them to produce a certain result. In order to make sure that they have done so, and have not acquired undesirable side-effects along the way, all GM crops intended for release into the environment, and all GM human and animal foods, must be tested and shown to meet the official regulatory requirements before they can leave the laboratory.

Contrast this with conventional breeding by cross-pollination or mutagenesis with chemicals or radiation. Those practices are completely blind and hit-and-miss; one cannot predict what might happen and there is little requirement to find out.

Somebody once compared the two ways of breeding: the old way was to do genetics wearing gloves and with your eyes shut; the new GM technology uses a microscope and tweezers.


  questions & answers
 4. How can you tell what will happen when genes are inserted?