The Debate Over Genetically Modified Crops
Department of Horticulture
University Libraries / National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
University at Buffalo
This discussion case, in which a university research laboratory is vandalized by environmental activists opposed to genetic engineering, focuses on the science and ethics of genetically modified crops. Students consider both the risks and benefits of biotechnology and explore the positions of various stakeholders, including environmentalists, conservationists, agricultural businesses, research scientists, and farmers. Originally written for a vegetable crops course, the case would be appropriate for a wide variety of courses in which biotechnology is discussed.
- Debate the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified crops.
- Become aware of the economic and socio-political issues associated with increasing corporate control of our food supply.
- Discuss the ethics of modifying the genes of an organism.
KeywordsGenetically modified organism; GMO; agricultural biotechnology; plant genetics; food production; bio-piracy; developing world; environmental activism; bioethics
Topical AreasEthics, Policy issues, Regulatory issues, Social justice issues
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate
Type / MethodsDiscussion, Jig-Saw, Role-Play, Debate
Subject HeadingsAgriculture | Biotechnology | Botany / Plant Science | Food Science / Technology |
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