Something came up on a Facebook post in the newsfeed the other day, that I think is worthy of definition, to dispel some misconceptions. The difference in a hybrid vs. genetically modified (GMO).
Hybridization has been used for decades and back as far as the 1700s and possibly even farther by aristocrats. It's the science of blending two different breeds of the same species to enhance growth, color, and other prized characteristics. Hence, Hybrid creates a new breed of chicken (or other animal), or rather a Hybrid of a breed of chicken. Hybrids are NOT sex links. Sex links are a form of breeding of one pattern to a solid color to produce offspring that can be sexed at hatch, but it's an entirely different method than hybridization. Hybridization does not produce a chick that can be sexed at hatch, that is not the purpose.
ALL chickens are a cross breed over generations of natural selection, without intervention of man genetically or by specific selection. Hybridization is by specific selection of a breeder. This is how new colors or other features are developed within a breed.
Technically the New Hampshire Red is a hybrid, in that Rhode Island Red was used in creating another breed, but genetics were NOT altered. The best of the best RIR were bred to the best of the best RIR and the result was a larger, enhanced Rhode Island Red, given the name of New Hampshire Red, because it was larger, matured earlier and was superior to the Rhode Island Red chickens that were being grown at the time.
Plant hybridization is very common. The Hybrid Tea rose is likely the best example of a hybrid plant. The cells are not modified or changed in any way. They've taken the prettiest flower, with the greatest form and color, grafted it to a sturdy, hardy root stock of another rose species and created the hybrid. Again, these roses are NOT genetically modified.
Artificial insemination is NOT genetic modification, it is a means of breeding a species of it's own kind with the sperm of a genetically superior breed or in the case of cattle and other livestock, there may not be a male amongst the females therefore a veterinarian is called in to inseminate with live sperm to breed those livestock. This can be a means of developing a hybrid for the vigor and superiority especially in beef cattle. But there is no modification or alteration of those genetics. Some turkey breeders use artificial insemination as a means of breeding, rather than rely on a Tom, but once again, that insemination process does NOT alter the cells of the species in any way.
On the other side of the coin, Genetically modified is done by science, not by nature or by specific trait breeding. Genetics are actually altered in a petri dish. Cells are manipulated to change their form and how they react. In addition, some other components may be added to those cells. Those cells are then blended to create a completely altered species of the original species.
We encourage research, and encourage you to question what you see or read, even if it's what we say and post. Sadly, way too much erroneous information is being passed around and people are believing bogus information that is backed by photoshopped pictures. We may not be able to squelch all of the misinformation, but when we can, we want to be a part of sharing researched and accurate information, not just opinion or silly notions or to push an agenda.
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