You've probably heard the term "GMO" before, but what does it mean? Genetically Modified Organisms are being created and grown across the globe. Genetic modification occurs when the DNA of one living thing is added into the DNA of another so that a 'desirable' trait becomes part of the new, modified, organism. These modifications can alter or introduce particular traits in the organism. For example, a corn plant can be bred to resist herbicides that will kill the weeds growing around it that would compete for nutrients and light. In this module, we'll discuss the most frequently modified crops in the United States, the kind of modifications that are done, and we will explore the debate around potential risks and benefits to humans and the environment as a result of GMOs.
By the end of this module, students will be able to:
- Explain what GMOs and GM crops are.
- Understand the historical context of GMOs.
- Have an understanding on the development of GMOs to date.
- Be able to name at least four frequently GMO crops
- Describe the way modification is used to affect agriculture
- Discuss the potential risks & benefits of GMOs on the environment
- Discuss the potential risks & benefits associated with GMO crop consumption
- Be able to make arguments for both sides of the debate