Thursday, December 16, 2010

Should we Grow GM Crops?

1. What is a GM Crops? GM crops ."GM crops are genetically modified. GM is a special set of technologies that alter the genetic makeup of organisms such as animals, plants, or bacteria." The food as a specific change in their DNA.

2. List 2 arguments FOR the growing of GM crops

GM foods can offer up many health benefits. GM food/crops have a longer live on the shelf and it will leave traditional crops "in the dust." "They will be better for us, with some products already in the works benefiting our waistlines (low-calorie sugar beets and oils with lower saturated fat content, for example) and others bearing higher nutritional content (high-fiber corn and high-starch potatoes). And they will be safer to eat." The food as a lower percentage of toxins, pesticides, and herbicides. The GM food will also be great benefits for the poor people of the world. Malnutrition is a grave problem in many countries. In a matter of time, the GM factories will "serve as environmentally friendly 'factories' that mass-produce useful substances such as pharmaceuticals." Scientists are currently testing ways to put vaccines into the crops because vaccines are costly to manufacture and there is little storage place for them in newly developing countries. These "tasty" vaccines, researchers and developers say, will be easier to administer, manufacture, and store. GM patrons also insist that farmers will reap great benefits from the biodiversity. Insects have become a problem to some farmers. The crops will can immune to the pesky little bugs and can "ignore" them. GM advocates can actually benefit the environment. "In the U.S. alone, farmers spray, spread, and otherwise administer more than 970 million tons of insect- and plant-killers every year. These pose threats to the environment. Pesticide residues linger on crops and in soil, find their way into the guts of wildlife that eat contaminated foliage, and leach into groundwater and wash into streams." The farmers will use fewer chemicals with the genetically modified crops. Scientists say that they can "naturally" modify the crops. In the natural world, plants and animals modify themselves.

3. List 2 arguments AGAINST the growing of GM crops.

GM foods can be extremely hazardous and pose health risks to children and adults alike. There are common allergies to peanuts and other foods. The genetically modified foods can bring up new allergies, which can be extremely fatal to humans. "Another potential hazard to human health is the possibility that bacteria in our guts could pick up antibiotic-resistance genes found in many GM foodstuffs." The GM crops can also hurt small business farmers. GM crops will be too expensive for poor farmers in developing countries. There is also a factor that the GM crops could cause environmental issues and harm. The GM crops, are feared, to also hinger the animal kingdom, especially if the organism eats the crops that are genetically modified. Annoying bugs, like the mosquito, can adapt and become tolerant to the pesticides. It is also going against what people have believed about the natural world. They feel like the genetically modified organisms are going against nature's natural ways.

Engineer a Crop

4. Practice this simulation until you get the largest ears of corn. How many times did it take you?

I only needed to do the simulation 1 time, before I was able to get the largest ear of corn.

What’s for Dinner?

*Click on the foods on the table to see what research is being done to bioenginner the foods.

5. List two foods and desribe how they are being modified.

Rice: One of the foods, that is a main ingredient for sushi, that is genetically modified, is rice. Rice is one of the three main crops that scientists have really emphasized on. Researchers have conducted many experiments, testing the different levels of starch, pest resistance, and "edible nutrition," which is genetically adding vitamins and minerals that are not naturally present.

Fruit: There is a variety of fruit that researchers are testing and researching all of the fruits listed strawberries, melons, pears, grapefruit, apples, watermelons, and many others.


*Read the article titled “Are GM Food Sufficiently Regulated in the US?”

Do you think food should be labeled if it has been genetically modified? Why or Why not?

I think that foods should be labeled if it has been genetically modified because the consumers have the right to know what they are eating. Wouldn't you want to know what you were putting inside your body? Also, people could have a severe allergy to one or more of the products used to genetically modify the food. By just telling the consumers, it will save the company the process of not telling and something negative happened to one of the consumers. Now a days, companies are not very honest about what they put inside their product. With the whole Mattel shindig, I feel that it is necessary for the company to trust come clean. If they are just straight forward, then they will not lose buyers because of the scandals that will come with not being truthful. If the company does not want to tell the consumers what chemicals (etc) are in their product, (because they are scare that not enough money would be made) should they even put it in there? If they do not want to tell their buyers? Is it really worth it?

Finished? Go to and type

Finished? Go to and type "genetic engineering" in the search field. Browse some of the sites that pop up.

Write down any of the sites you visited below.

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