What Do You Know about Foods Made from GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS?

Article excerpt

Some food companies have stopped using genetically modified crops as sources for their foods. Like many Americans, though, you may think you don't know enough about the issue to decide whether you agree with those who pressed for these changes. A survey by the International Food Information Council found that just one in five Americans consider themselves informed about foods produced with genetically modified organisms. Peter Goldsbrough, a plant scientist and expert in genetically modified crops at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., has developed nine questions to test your knowledge of genetically modified foods and agricultural biotechnology:

1. Have you eaten foods made from genetically
modified crops?

   A. Yes       B. No

2. Which foods use genetically modified organisms
in their production to the largest extent?

   A. Cheese    B. Vegetables    C. Meat

3. What are the current benefits of having
foods made from genetically modified crops?

   A. They improve farm profitability and make
   some farmers' jobs easier.
   B. They allow farmers to increase greatly the
   amount of crops produced.
   C. They improve convenience for consumers
   --e.g., by creating foods with longer shelf
   lives.
   D. They improve the nutritional quality of
   foods.
   E. They cause less damage to the environment
   than conventional chemical-intensive
   agriculture.

4. Of the food we eat, how much contains the
genetic material DNA?

   A. Less than five percent      B. 20%
   C. 50%         D. 80%          E. Nearly 100%

5. Most foods derived from genetically modified
crops contain:

   A. The same number of genes as food produced
   from conventional crops
   B. The same number of genes as foods produced
   from hybrid crops
   C. One or two additional genes
   D. Hundreds of additional genes
   E. No genes at all

6. What effect does eating genetically modified
foods have on your genes?

   A. It could cause your own genes to mutate.
   B. It could cause your own genes to absorb
   the excess genes.
   C. It has no effect on your genes.
   D. The effects on human genetics aren't
   known.

7. Are foods made from genetically modified
crops required to pass human testing?

   A. Yes       B. No

8. Are foods derived from genetically modified
crops required to be tested for possible allergic
reactions in people?

   A. Yes       B. No

9. Are foods derived from genetically modified
crops nutritionally superior?

   A. They offer substantial health advantages
   over foods that are produced from conventional
   crops.
   B. They offer some health advantages over
   foods produced from conventional crops.
   C. They are neither better nor worse than
   foods from conventional crops.
   D. They are slightly less healthful than foods
   from conventional crops.
   E. Foods produced from genetically modified
   crops are a known health risk.

ANSWERS

1. A. "If you live in the United States, it's almost certain that at one time or another you've eaten foods made from genetically modified crops," Goldsbrough indicates. …

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