Genetically Modified Organisms

Question

Shalom, would you please explain briefly why genetically modified organisms (GMO) are considered kosher? From what I understand some GMO’s contain DNA, genes, from other species, such as DNA from an animal is injected into a plant. Thank you very much.

5 months

Answers

  1. I’ve been doing some reading on genetically engineered foods, and have contacted some people in the field (not the tomato patch :-)) and have come up with the following:

    1.The process of obtaining the desired gene for use is one that involves copying, and re-copying the gene in various media (such as bacteria), so that the final, resultant gene has NO frog in it.

    2.The gene is not placed in each and every tomato, but rather in some seeds or plants which then produce NEW generations of tomatoes that have never come in contact with the original gene.

    To ascertain the Halacha in this case, your question was posed to Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg. He said that he is not familiar with the exact process of breeding these tomatoes and the like, but his ruling is that if the gene underwent significant change after it left the frog, the tomato is indeed kosher.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team