Though the above definitions of genetic engineering is commonplace, they better describe the term molecular biology.

Genetic engineering, in the more broad sense, has been practiced ever since the first animals and crops were domesticated. The changes made to domesticated animals, such as dogs (think Shi-Tzu or dachshund) or plants (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc. all from kale) are more extreme than any done in any laboratory (to date). It's the media's spotlight, as well as the quickness one can achieve genetic changes using molecular biology, that is troubling to those unfamiliar with the concept.