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Genetically modified foods
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Reporting on GM foods:


Vitamin A-rich Golden Rice could save lives

Genetically modified foods have received some sour publicity of late. The industry got some organic egg on its face last month, when GM corn, that was approved only as animal feed, found its way into some taco shells, tortillas and snack chips. But what if one genetically-modified food could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year? That would change some minds.
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Brazil's debate over GM foods

Delegates from consumer organizations in 119 countries opened a conference in Dhurban, South Africa, today. Near the top of their agenda is the controversy over genetically modified food. Now, you may find that rather surprising, considering the rather muted debate about genetically altered foods in this country. But in much of the rest of the world, it is a hot issue.
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The Agro-ecology of GM foods

The Green Revolution in agriculture, which began in the 1940's and hit full swing in the 1960's, employed specific techniques: focusing on a few key crops, and heavy use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Those techniques successfully averted mass starvation a generation ago. But now, green revolution practices are threatening the food supply for future generations. One of the promises of genetically modified food is that it helps minimize the need for pesticides and fertilizers, and may help reduce the threat to future food supplies. But opponents of GM food say that solution poses more problems than it solves.
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Proponents of genetically modified food say its advantages are decreased use of pesticides and herbicides, higher yields, and more uniform crops. Detractors -- and there are many -- say the potential health and environmental risks outweigh those benefits. But GM technology is not just a debate about science. It's about money -- big money. GM foods could be the cash cow that oil is for the companies that succeed. And success in genetic modification means holding the patents on the modified foods, which are considered new inventions. But while the final product may be a new invention, the original plant or animal the genes come from is not -- a blurry distinction that gets stickier when international borders are crossed in the process.
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