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The Case of the Tainted Taco Shells: General Edition


Author(s)

Ann T.S. Taylor
Department of Chemistry
Wabash College
taylora@wabash.edu

Abstract

This case discusses some of the issues associated with the use of genetically modified plants, including ecological risks, resistance, and allergenicity. The case has two versions, or editions.  This edition (the "General Edition") emphasizes the basic biochemistry and scientific ethics issues associated with genetically modified foods. Originally developed for use in a biochemistry course, it is also appropriate for use in a non-majors general, organic, and biochemistry (GOB) course and in a general biology course.  The "Advanced Edition," also published on this site, probes the same issues but in greater detail and is appropriate for upper-level biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics classes.


Objectives

  • Understand how a transgenic plant is made.
  • Feel comfortable reading a primary literature article (at an appropriate level for the class).
  • Understand the issues surrounding the use of genetically modified foods, including environmental effects and concerns about resistance.
  • See how scientists have to deal with uncertainty and risk assessment.
  • Understand why Roundup is toxic to plants but not to animals
  • Understand the methods used to predict allergenicity.

Keywords

Genetically modified organism; GMO; genetically modified plant; transgenic food; corn, Bacillus thuringiensis; Roundup; weeds; allergy; allergens; allergenicity; risk assessment; resistance

Topical Areas

Ethics

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Analysis (Issues), Discussion, Journal Article, Role-Play

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biochemistry  |   Chemistry (General)  |   Biology (General)  |   Biotechnology  |   Botany / Plant Science  |   Agriculture  |  


Date Posted

03/17/04

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