Genetically Modified Foods Savior or Menace?



Download 31,44 Kb.
Date conversion15.02.2017
Size31,44 Kb.
Genetically Modified Foods - Savior or Menace?

Do Genetically Modified Foods represent the true societal benefits extolled by the biotech industry or are they the potential menace that environmentalists warn of?

Background Information:

So, how are genetically engineered foods "engineered"? You will need to understand this process before you begin the assignment.



  • Click on the following link to find out: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/engineer/

Read the background information, then follow the simulation in the box on the right labeled "Transgenic Manipulation" to see how scientists insert the genes of one species' DNA into a different species' DNA.

  • Another good animation is offered on the web page of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University http://www.cls.casa.colostate.edu/TransgenicCrops/animation.html

The Assignment:

Part 1 - Research / Comparison Chart (24 points): You are responsible for researching six questions as they relate to the controversy surrounding the development and use of genetically modified foods (GMOs). As you research each question, fill in the table (attachment at bottom of web page) that compares the arguments for the two opposing sides of this issue: environmentalists/consumers and industry.

1. Are we tampering with nature in an unethical way? [Consider: How does genetic engineering of food crops compare to other methods used to produce better crops, how does it differ? For example, how are genetically engineered crops different from hybrid crops, or crops that have been bred for certain traits?]

2. Are GM foods safe and/or healthy to eat? [Consider: Do GM foods pose a greater risk of allergic reactions? Do GM foods provide better or worse nutritional value? What is the potential for yet unknown health effects?]

3. Do GMOs help or harm the environment? (focus on the wild environment, not farms) [Consider: Do GM crops have the potential to produce “super weeds”? Could there be unintentional harm to wildlife? What is the risk of gene transfer from a GM crop to a wild plant species?]

4. Can the act of some farmers planting GMOs negatively affect the ability of other farmers to practice organic farming? [Consider: Will GM crops promote pesticide resistance, especially to Bt, one of the few pesticides used by organic farmers? What is the risk of genes from GM crops getting transferred into neighboring organic crops, and thus destroying their organic certification?]

5. Do we need GMOs to feed the world? [Consider: Are the plants being engineered for uses in places that need it? What adaptations would be beneficial to areas with growing populations and food shortages?]

6. Should GM foods be labeled? [Consider: Do citizens have a right to have food labeled? Does labeling imply the product is harmful?]


Part 2 - Essay (41 points): Write an essay that clearly states your position on growing GM foods on the nation’s farms. You should consider the questions above as well as the following:

Is your opinion on GMOs firmly one way or the other, or is it conditional on certain things? Under what conditions would you support the growth of genetically engineered food crops?

Do you think GMOs are a necessary component of stable and sustainable agriculture, or do you see them as counter to this goal? 

Do you see reasons for or against growing GMOs beyond those that would affect Americans? 

Do genetically modified foods actually represent a societal benefit? 

Are these products truly necessary? Why? Do better alternatives exist?

Your essay format should (rubric attached at bottom of page):



  • clearly state how you feel about the growth and sale of GM foods

  • support your position with at least 3 arguments (each argument should be its own paragraph)


Web Resources:

Harvest of Fear: Exploring the Growing Fight Over Genetically Modified Food (A Frontline/Nova Special) - A 2 hour special produced by PBS

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/
I recommend following the “Should we grow GM crops?” link.
You can also view a copy of the transcript of this 2 hour special. (Which has lots of great information on both sides of the issue.)


Harvest of Fear – Links - a page of links to other sites that is organized by being “informative”, “pro” or “anti” GMO.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/etc/links.html


Monsanto – Biotech Basics – Information provided by the Biotech Industry. Monsanto is one of the leading producers and promoters of GMOs.



http://www.biotechknowledge.monsanto.com/biotech/bbasics.nsf/index.html


National Center for Biotechnology Education - Provides a history of GM foods in the United Kingdom. This will give you an idea of attitudes about GM foods in areas other than the United Statess

http://www.ncbe.reading.ac.uk/NCBE/GMFOOD/menu.html


Union of Concerned Scientists

Follow “food” link at top of page, then “food and agriculture” link.



http://www.ucsusa.org/

Genetically Modified Foods – Savior or Menace?

Question:

Environmentalists/

Concerned Citizens

Biotech Industry

  1. Are we tampering with nature in an unethical way?










  1. Are GM foods safe and/or healthy to eat?










  1. Do GMOs help or harm the environment?










  1. Can the act of some farmers planting GMOs negatively affect the ability of other farmers to practice organic farming?










  1. Do we need GMOs to feed the world?










  1. Should GM foods be labeled?











Genetically Modified Foods – Savior or Menace?

ESSAY RUBRIC

Grading Criteria

Points

Introductory paragraph with background on GMOs


Clearly state opinion on growth and sale of GM foods
Argument 1 –

Argument 2 –



  • Clearly stated

  • Supported with relevant facts and scientific explanations

Argument 3 –



  • Clearly stated

  • Supported with relevant facts and scientific explanations

Complete sentences, grammatically correct, essay format, rubric turned in


0 1 2 3 4


0 1 2 3

0 2 4


0 2 4 6

0 2 4


0 2 4 6

0 2 4


0 2 4 6

0 2 4


TOTAL:

_____ / 41


The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2016
send message

    Main page