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Bio-engineered Food

 

 Science, Technology & Society

Student Materials

 

Grades 9-10

 

 

 

 

Bio-engineered Food

 

Student Materials

 

 

The advancements in the field of biotechnology have allowed scientists to insert genes into food sources so the altered DNA produces new proteins that lead to new characteristics in the plants.  By inserting a gene into a particular plant, the resulting protein may make the plant resistant to insects or resistant to a particular herbicide.  The farmers’ ability to yield larger crops greatly improves when these alterations are made.  Other genetic modifications improve the nutritional quality of food. 

 

Several products you buy at the grocery store including corn, beets, canola and soy are probably genetically modified, but you have no way of knowing unless the manufacturer chooses to label the product.  Opponents to genetically modified food fear that future studies may uncover health risks linked to ingesting this altered form of DNA.  Others suggest that the use of genetically altered plants may result in the overuse of chemicals to control weeds, and ultimately cause adverse environmental conditions. Currently there is not a law that mandates the labeling of genetically modified food products.

 

 

Your task is to design a persuasive pamphlet in support of or in opposition to the mandatory labeling of genetically altered food based on scientific evidence.  Use several sources to support your stance and remember to consider the credibility of your sources when defending your position.  Here are some websites that will help start your research on the risks and benefits of genetically modified food:

 

http://scope.educ.washington.edu/gmfood/

http://pewagbiotech.org/newsroom/releases/062702.php3

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications

http://actionbioscience.org/biotech/