A look at GMOs, GAO and GE plants as they apply to horticulture©

H.W. Barnes
The fundamental question presented to this panel discussion is: what is the role of GMO (genetically modified organism), GAO (genetically altered organism), and GE (genetically engineered) plants in horticulture. To make sense of that assessment some background information and definitions as to what these acronyms mean is in order. The science of horticulture means plants grown for food, ornament, or function that is different from those plants that are grown for agricultural purposes. In brief, tomatoes are horticultural, wheat generally is not except (Australian Office of Gene Technology, 2005) where it is grown for ornamental purposes, same thing applies to corn and Panicum sometimes yes and sometimes no, forest trees and lawn trees are horticultural, cotton is horticultural but soybeans are not, all fruit trees and fruits of any kind on woody or herbaceous plants apart from the grains are horticultural. Seaweed for consumption is agricultural but seaweed grown for the aquarium industry is horticultural. The use of any kind of plant for medical purposes brings it into the fold of horticulture. Definitions and clarity are the rule of the day when considering complex issues such as this.
Barnes, H.W. (2017). A look at GMOs, GAO and GE plants as they apply to horticulture©. Acta Hortic. 1174, 235-240
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1174.49

Acta Horticulturae