Across the globe, plant breeders seek genetically modified plants to increase crop yield, build up disease resistance and delay crop ripening. Meanwhile, national governments and activist groups question the safety of these crops.
Greenpeace, an environmental activist group, has led numerous protests calling for a ban on G.M. corn. France and Greece have ignored possible sanctions from the E.U. by actively speaking against the cultivation of G.M. corn, papaya and eggplant.
Genetic modification involves transferring a gene of interest from one species into another. In some cases, plant breeders insert these genes into a naturally occurring bacterium and then into the target plant. The final G.M. product contains only the transported gene and not the bacterium as a whole.