“GM is actually a method, not a thing. It's very important to bear that in mind and the method enables you to take DNA sequence from essentially any organism and use the properties of a bacterium called agrobacterium to deliver that DNA into a plant cell. If that DNA carries a gene that serves a useful purpose, for example enhances crop resistance to insects, then you can get a plant back that has properties that you could not have achieved by plant breeding.
A plant carries 50,000 genes or so, and the idea was to put in a gene or two that confers a useful new trait. And to do that, you take advantage of a bacterium called agri-bacterium which naturally causes galls on a number of crops, particularly grapevine but a number of others too. And it does this by introducing DNA into the cells of that plant, that make the plant more conducive to the growth of bacterium. And what scientists have done over the last 30 years actually, is to understand this process, break it down into components, and then use their knowledge of the DNA that transfers the DNA into the plant cell and get rid of the genes that make the plant cell do a number of growth characteristics that are not good for the plant. And then you can put in genes that confer properties that would be advantageous for the crop and then what you do, is you incubate the plant cells with the bacteria and then you select for those plant cells that receive the genes that you're interested in and then at the end, you get a plant back from that, that has 50,000 genes it started with and has a couple of new genes as well.”