If you’re planting a garden, you may wonder, “Are hybrid vegetables GMO?” NO, hybrid vegetables are not GMO. In fact, you can’t buy GMO seeds by accident.
It’s a common misconception about ‘hybrid’ fruits and veggies being the same as ‘genetically modified’ produce. Hybridization can happen without man ever entering into the picture. When pollen transfers from one species of plant to another (for instance by bees or wind), the end result is a hybrid. Additionally, hybridization can be done intentionally to produce a crop with the best features of two different plants.
So rest easy! No matter what seeds you buy for your garden this year, you won’t have to worry that your seeds are GMOs, even if they’re hybrids.
What are GMOs?
Genetically modified organisms, AKA GMOs, are created by taking bits of DNA from one species and inserting it into a completely different species for some desired effect. There are various reasons that this is done. Some of the reasons companies like Monsanto do this is to create corn, soybeans and other crops that either have internal pesticide factories within the plants, or to have plants that are herbicide tolerant (that means you can spray them with Round-up and they won’t die).
Other genetic modifications can allow plants to do things that are typically not in their nature, such as injecting a certain kind of fish DNA into a tomato to create a tomato that will grow in colder climates. Lastly, there are some who advocate genetically modifying a food product to boost certain types of vitamins or nutrients. Bill Gates has been a big fan of this.
Here is a video that might very well answer any questions you might have about the difference between hybrid and GMO seeds, as well as heirlooms and organic seeds.