S&S Student Activity 20.1: Modifying an Organism’s Genes

Science and Sustainability

Activity 20.1: Modifying an Organism’s Genes

In this activity, you will use what you have learned about genetics and DNA, together with information collected during additional research, in preparation for a debate on the benefits and trade-offs of genetic modification of food crops. When your research is complete, your teacher will schedule a debate. With your group, you will decide if the evidence you have gathered leads you to decide yes or no on the following question: Should genetically modified crops be used to grow food for human consumption?

Web Resources: Research for the Debate

These links will help you get started on your research. Scroll down to find the organism your group has been assigned, then follow the links.

Insect Resistant Corn

Insect Resistance – The Ag Biotech Infonet
Insect-resistant Crops Through Genetic Engineering – Extension Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Herbicide-Resistant Soybeans

Herbicide Tolerance – The Ag Biotech Infonet

The Flavr Savr Tomato

The ‘Flavr Savr’ Tomato – CBC Archives – Broadcast July 4, 1994
Genetically Engineered Tomatoes – The GEO-PIE Project from the Cornell Cooperative Extension

GM Rice

Bangladesh ‘endorses’ GM rice – BBC Article, January 2005

GM Fish

Genetically Engineered Salmon – Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology
Genetically Engineered Fish and Seafood – Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress
Genetically Modified Fish: Promise or Problematic?

General Resources

GMO Compass
News about GM food and crops


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