genetically modified crops

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 March, 2010, 12:00am

Reading comprehension

Answer the following questions:

1 Why did India introduce a genetically modified version of the aubergine?

a. The supply of the organic aubergine is decreasing because of climate change.

b. The price of the organic aubergine is rising because of climate change.

c. Scientific research shows the organic aubergine may pose a health risk.

d. Eating the genetically modified plant is healthier.

2. Environmentalists have blamed the introduction of GM seeds for ...

a. climate change

b. crop failure

c. increasing pests and deceases

d. rising suicides among farmers

3. Why do opponents want more research on the GM aubergine?

a. They want to improve the taste of the genetically engineered product.

b. They want to develop a method to mass produce aubergine so the price will go down further.

c. They are not sure whether the GM aubergine is safe.

d. They want to develop an aubergine completely resistant to disease.

4. What are the advantages of GM produce according to its advocates?

i) It doubles crop output.

ii) It increases the variety of crop species.

iii) It reduces the use of insecticide.

iv) It cuts production costs for farmers.

a. i) and ii)

b. ii) and iii)

c. i), iii) and iv)

d. all of the above

Think about

1 Do you think introducing GM food is a good way to address the food shortage problem? What else can a country do to increase food production?

2 Apart from production, what other factors can affect food distribution?

3 What are the dangers of allowing a single company to provide most of the world's food?

4 Why are consumers calling for a labelling system for GM food? What information should such a system tell them?

Follow-up activities

1 Find out what foods have been genetically modified and make a chart for your classroom.

2 On the mainland, the debate over the government's plans to speed up the commercialisation of genetically modified rice has recently resurfaced. Read news about the government's decision - announced in January in its annual rural development blueprint - and look up reactions from green groups.

3 Research the company Monsanto and write a report on its product Roundup.


March 2

Reading comprehension: 1. a, 2. d, 3. b, 4. a, 5. b, 6. c