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Genetically modified crops, often referred to as GMOs (genetically modified organisms), are crops whose genetic material has been altered in some way. Genetic engineering is one method used to modify these crops. However, there is a subtle difference between the terms GMO and genetically engineered (GE).

GMO refers to any organism, including crops, whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. This can include the insertion, deletion or modification of genetic material. It can also include other forms of genetic modification such as mutagenesis, which involves exposing crops to radiation or chemicals to induce mutations.

GE, on the other hand, specifically refers to crops that have been modified using a particular type of genetic engineering technique. This technique involves the targeted insertion of a specific gene from one organism into another in order to produce a desired trait.

The difference between GMO and GE is therefore a matter of precision. GMO refers to any crop that has undergone genetic modification, whereas GE specifically refers to crops that have been modified using the technique of gene insertion.

The distinction between the two terms is important because it can affect how people perceive the safety and environmental impact of these crops. Some people may see all genetically modified crops as equally concerning, while others may be more comfortable with crops that have undergone only specific types of genetic modification.

There are ongoing debates around the use of GMO and GE crops, with some arguing that they have the potential to improve crop yields and reduce the use of pesticides, while others raise concerns about the potential risks to human health and the environment. Ultimately, the impact of these crops will depend on a range of factors, including the specific modification used, the crop in question, and the methods used to grow and distribute them.