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GM Food

Downloadable worksheets:
Board game - General culture (globalisation, developed and developing countries, environmental problems, democracy, human rights, European Union, etc)
Level: advanced
Age: 14-17
Downloads: 346

GM Food
Level: advanced
Age: 14-17
Downloads: 181

Level: intermediate
Age: 14-17
Downloads: 184

Level: intermediate
Age: 14-17
Downloads: 91

Writing an argumentative text on GM Food
Level: advanced
Age: 14-17
Downloads: 72

GM Food: are we playing God? 90 minutes lesson plan
Level: advanced
Age: 16-100
Downloads: 49


GM food

 Before watching the video, pay attention to the following words (you will hear them in the documentary):

a bug / pest 

crops (corn ...)


genetic engineering

to reap

3 test tubes

> 3 samples



Over the past hundred years our food supply has greatly improved through traditional . Now we are beginning to  the first fruits of the harvests.  is moving fast and many people find it hard to decide whether  plants are .

Novel food regulations require GM food and all other foods new to the market to go through extensive  procedures to make sure they do not contain  that might cause  or  reactions.

In some tests thousands of  are analyzed and compared based on their  and  composition. Other tests make use of  rather than  comparisons between GM and non GM food. This way it is possible to see to what extent foods vary in their composition. -resistant and  spray tolerant crops, for example, have been approved this way to make food for us to eat.

Dr. Jim Murray (President, European Consumers Organization, Brussels):
“If one was just to look at the issue as a purely  issue and nothing else, we have reasons to be far more concerned about many other things that are in our food than about GM food as such. But again the question of GM food has become much wider than one purely of , it has become an  issue, a  issue, a  issue, and inevitably has been linked to concerns about or against  and really has become very much a multifactored issue.”

Environmentalists have three main concerns. The GM crops will create  and  or reduce , but above all, they worry about the  of GM crop releases.

Mr. Benedikt Haerlin (Coordinator, GMO World Wide Campaign Greenpeace):
 “Our concern is basically just the release of  into the . We are not opposed to using genetic engineering in contained facilities, and that’s a different story.”

In the open  pollen from  crops could pollinate another related plant. If they  with their  relatives, there could be the danger of creating . And if they  with non GM crops on  farms for examples, the farmers could not .

The first commercial products of genetic engineering were . It’s mainly the  that  the benefits. Now  in Europe and many other parts of the world are developing new products designed to be of direct benefit to the . Many of these research advances will be used in  where there are potentially large enough markets for the new products.

For  priorities depend on  and are often a question of  rather than . Areas and active research include plants that are resistant to high  content in the soil or to . Great efforts are going into creating foods designed to be positively good for you. For example, tests are under way on a GM  designed to increase levels of  in the human body.

One problem for decision makers is that there are no  for assessing the of GM crops and GM food. Different countries base their judgments on different sets of questions and not all countries have access to good testing facilities. In North America decisions are based primarily on  judgements about safety. This approach means GM crop developments are moving ahead quite fast but, if something goes wrong, the guilty parties could be sued. Europe’s  principle tries to avoid unexpected consequences. It allows decision makers to proceed cautiously with GM crops. Their decisions are based on  considerations as well as the available  evidence. Without an  on standards food producers face real problems in  and  GM products to countries in other parts of the world. And even if  could be agreed on, there is no  to  them. This is now the  for the decision makers.