Tuesday, February 18, 2014

NOVA Online | Teachers | Program Overview | Harvest of Fear | PBS

NOVA Online | Teachers | Program Overview | Harvest of Fear | PBS:

What are the arguments for and against genetically engineered foods? Join NOVA and FRONTLINE as they track the debate and explore the issues.
The program:
  • explains how scientists use genetic engineering to isolate a specific gene from one organism and insert it into another, possibly unrelated, organism.
  • provides examples of benefits of this technique, including engineering plants that can survive being sprayed by weedkiller or can create their own pest defenses.
  • introduces opposition that states there is no way to predict with complete certainty what effects these genetically engineered plants may have on the environment.
  • presents concerns that genes from an engineered plant could spawn superweeds and superbugs.
  • reviews the practice of planting a 10 percent "refuge" around crops in which insects can reside.
  • speculates on fear that proteins produced by inserted genes might be dangerous, either because the proteins themselves are allergenic or because they might alter the plant's chemistry, making it toxic.
  • examines the need for genetically engineered foods, including the claim that these foods will help reduce starvation and improve nutrition in developing countries.

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