GMOs: Good or Bad for the Planet?
What's the truth about genetically engineered foods?
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
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Like voters on the Kids' Environmental Report Card poll, most people are divided about these relative newcomers to our restaurants and grocery stores.
According to the most recent Report Card poll, the majority of kids think genetically engineered foods are "dangerous." However, nearly half as many kids needed more information before sharing their views on this topic.
Yes, playing with nature can be risky. To make smart decisions about the future of our foods, we'll need to gather more information about the potential effects of genetically engineered foods.
Too Soon to Say?
Genetic engineering is not a new practice. Through standard techniques such as selective breeding, people have been modifying the genetic makeup of food crops and domestic animals for 10,000 years.
Today, two-thirds of the processed foods sold in the U.S. contain ingredients from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Many GMOs are so new that we haven’t had time to weight the effects, good or bad, of these items. Foods such as Bt-resistant corn may be making the world safer, by reducing the need for pesticide sprays. However, they may cause trouble for the environment in other, as-yet undiscovered, ways.