Lesson Plan - Get It!
The use of biotechnology, especially in modifying food products, is controversial. You will need to decide where you stand. When you are faced with such a big decision, how do you compile evidence and information to help guide your choice?
During the previous Related Lesson of this Biotechnology series, you learned how biotechnology can be applied to medicine, agriculture, and product development.
By the way, if you missed or need to review the Related Lessons of this series, you can find them both in the right-hand sidebar.
Genetic modification has also been a very controversial topic in relation to our food products. Foods with genetic modification involving gene splicing were introduced to the consumer market in 1994 and have grown in use since that time. Gene splicing occurs when genes from one organism are inserted into another.
This process can be used to create crops that are pest-, drought-, and temperature-resistant. These characteristics make them able to survive in changing environments, thereby increasing food availability for the growing human population, as represented in the following chart from WikiMedia Commons:
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However, some people argue that GMOs are not safe for human consumption. These individuals claim that GMOs can cause harm to human body systems like the digestive system.
These food products have not been tested on humans, only on animals. This practice makes it really challenging to determine the true impact of GMOs on human body systems. Other developed countries in the world have banned GMOs from food, but the United States and Canada allow GMO food products.
- What are some of your initial concerns about genetically-modified foods?
- What questions do you have about the impact on human body systems?
Discuss these questions with a parent or teacher before moving on to the Got It? section, where you will compile a bank of evidence to support an argument for or against genetically-modified food products.