What’s the Difference Between a “Hybrid” Fruit and a “GMO?”

Share this post

Q: What is a GMO?
A: A GMO, or Genetically Modified Organism, has had its DNA altered via genetic engineering to make it more disease, pest, or chemical resistant, or to include desirable characteristics such as size, color, enhanced nutrition, or stability (shelf life). GMO produce might include things such as tomatoes that have been genetically altered to stay firm, or corn, soybean, or sugar beets modified to resist pests and/or weed killers or to be more drought tolerant. The FruitGuys never use GMO fruit, vegetables, or products. We supported Prop 37, the 2012 California ballot initiative that would have required GMO products to be labeled so consumers can choose for themselves (visit Right to Know GMO to find out how to get involved).

Close to 90% of the corn, soybean, cotton, and sugar beet crops grown in the U.S. has been genetically modified. Corn, soybean, and sugar beet byproducts are used in many processed foods. GMO foods are required to be labeled in the European Union. Here, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency are responsible for regulating the production and safety of GMO foods. While the World Health Organization states “no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved,” there have not been any studies addressing concerns about allergies and unknown long-term effects on human health. Some studies have shown potential harm to non-modified plants and animals, including unintended crossbreeding, pesticide resistance, and population changes.

Q: What is a hybrid?
A: Hybrids, or hybrid fruits, such as an aprium (apricot crossed with a plum) or pluot (plum crossed with a apricot), is a variety made by naturally crossbreeding two separate varieties to create a new one. Hybridization can occur spontaneously in nature (through cross pollination) or be practiced by farmers and gardeners. Pioneering botanist Luther Burbank developed more than 800 plant varieties using hybridization, grafting, and crossbreeding, all natural trait selection processes. Hybridization is a form of crossbreeding where two different varieties are combined resulting in an offspring that combines characteristics of the parent varieties. Over successive generations, the desirable traits can be tailored. Burbank brought us the first plumcot—a cross between a plum and an apricot—and the Russet potato, among many other fruits, vegetables, and plants. In mammals, a hybrid example is the Labradoodle, produced by crossing a standard poodle and a Labrador retriever.

Contact us with any questions: info@fruitguys.com, 1-877-FRUIT-ME (877-378-4863).

Sign up for our monthly newsletter


Recent The FruitLife articles:

The (not so) dormant season brings a to-do list to the farm
November 9, 2015
How farming became a second career for the owners of Bear Track Farm
September 18, 2015
September 17, 2015
September 17, 2015
Grantee farms progress on solar, soil, and pleasing pollinators
September 9, 2015
Grantee farms progress on solar, soil, and pleasing pollinators
September 9, 2015
Save Sonoma County’s special apple, the Gravenstein
July 13, 2015

More recent articles:

Helping those in need brings deeper meaning to business
November 18, 2015
3 poses that can help ease holiday overindulgences
November 18, 2015
Have a holly, jolly office gift exchange with these etiquette tips
November 17, 2015
November 15, 2015
November 15, 2015
How to send fruit to those in need
October 28, 2015
How to make diet challenges work during the holidays
October 27, 2015
What’s for lunch? Autumn edition
October 21, 2015
The right way to recover from a heavy workout
October 14, 2015

About Us

The FruitGuys Magazine is your source for workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. Previously known as The FruitGuys Almanac, the Magazine began in 2007. Editors and contributors include nationally known journalists and food writers. Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the editor.