Thursday, February 14, 2013

Curriculum & Resources: The Debate on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Source: YES Magazine

GMO Infographics

GMO Infographic 1
"The Truth About Biotechnology"
Download the entire "Truth about Biotechnology" infographic here

GMO Infographic 2
"What Do You Know About GMOs?"
DOWNLOAD the entire "What Do You Know About GMOs?" infographic here

GMO Infographic 3
"What on Earth are GMOs?"
DOWNLOAD the entire "What on Earth are GMOs ?" infographic here.

Your students, no doubt, are familiar with OMG! But what about GMO?

GMOs are genetically modified organisms in which the genetic material or DNA has been altered in a way that doesn’t occur naturally. GMOs seem to be a hotly debated topic around the world. Some people claim GM seeds yield higher agricultural productivity and ensure food security.  Others maintain these seeds are unsafe to eat and destroy other seeds and crops. On the November 2012 ballot, a grassroots coalition of California citizens proposed an initiative to require the labeling of foods made from genetically modified organisms. The initiative failed, but proponents are looking to other states to take up their cause.

What do your students know about GMOs? Do they think they’re good or bad? Why do we have them at all?

We found three infographics that represent different points of view on GMOs.

With your students, study the three infographics. For each one, ask:
  • Look at the colors used and how the facts are displayed. What is the feeling or tone of the infographics? What else do you notice?
  • What is the theme and purpose of the infographic?
  • What is the position and perspective on GMOs?
  • Who created the infographic? What do you know about this organization? Does knowing this influence how you interpret or view the chart? TIP: Look at the fine print at the bottom of the infographic.

After your students have analyzed this set of infographics, poll them on which infographic they found most influential (or not). Did their views on GMOs change?

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