GMOs & GEOs
Diagram from Fine Gardening Magazine
GMOs & GEOs are a hot topic!
GMO stands for "genetically modified organism" while GEO stands for "genetically engineered organism." Although GEOs are a subset of GMOs, the terms are often used interchangeably. Both refer to organisms (typically crops) that have had their DNA altered, whether naturally or by man.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops are a good (and very controversial) example, where the company modified plant genes to make them resistant to Roundup, allowing farmers to spray weed killer on them without damaging the crop.
A recent article in the Washington Post offers some insight into "DNA-marker-assisted breeding," which essentially speeds up the process of selective breeding. The below diagram from the Post offers some insight into this process.
You'll have noticed the non-GMO stickers on our veggie signs this year, making everyone aware that they have not been genetically altered in an unnatural way! Here's an article from Cornell University if you're interested in more information on GMOs.