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cornthe debate over genetically modified foods

Much of the food on American supermarket shelves today contains material from some plant or animal whose genetic makeup has been altered. These genetically modified (GM) foods have been at the center of a debate raging around the world, with some countries refusing to import food from the US unless it is GM-free. Proponents of biotechnology say that GM foods can make farming more efficient, reduce the use of environmentally-hazardous herbicides, and produce foods with added nutrients. Critics warn that GM foods can cause allergic reactions and other health problems, and that the potential environmental effects aren't worth the benefits.

| REPORTS |

The stories:

Vitamin A-rich Golden Rice could save lives
(11/06/2000)

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Brazil's debate over GM foods
(11/13/2000)

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The Agro-ecology of GM foods
(11/20/2000)

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Biopiracy
(12/4/2000)

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Shoot 'em up with gene guns
How are genes inserted into plants? Watch these animations, created by the horticulture department at Purdue University, to see how researchers use a gene gun and a leaf disk to create genetically engineered plants.

Genetically test yourself
Take our quiz and see how much you know about genetically engineered foods.

DNA at home
You can extract DNA from the fruits in your own kitchen! Here's how.

A Question of Taste
Some consumers are concerned that the flavor of GM foods might not measure up to conventional produce. Part of the key to flavor is maintaining that fresh-picked taste. Why does fresh-picked taste so much better than store bought?

Links to both sides of the debate.
Read up on GM foods and decide for yourself what you think.



copyright Exploratorium 2001