Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Harvest of Fear (home)NOVA
FRONTLINE


home
should we grow them?
engineer a crop
what's for dinner?
viewpoints
viewpoints
The following excerpts are taken from the full FRONTLINE/NOVA interviews conducted for this report.

slicing a cucumberIs genetically modified food safe?

Scientists and government regulators maintain that GM food presents no food safety issues at the moment. Biotechnology critics and other scientists disagree, arguing that there's inadequate testing and regulation of GM food, and that we don't really know whether GM food is safe or not.
Just how radical is this technology?

Scientists maintain that genetic modification of food crops is not new; humans have been tampering with nature for a very long time. Biotechnology critic Jeremy Rifkin disagrees.
the lab
grenhouseWhat are the benefits?

Here are scientists' views on how GM crops can help the environment (reducing the need for herbicides, pesticides), the farmer (pathogen resistance), and make it easier to feed the world (enhanced crops with vitamins). Critics of agricultural biotechnology say there are other, better options for solving these problems.
What are the Risks?

Critics of biotechnology say nature is incredibly complex and that GM technology is introducing a new genre of environmental and health questions. They argue that introducing foreign genes from distant species (e.g., a gene from a fish into a strawberry) increases the risk of allergenicity. Also, the risk of new toxins must be considered. And they point to lab research which has revealed possible unintended consequences of GMOs.
corn
shelfAre gm foods sufficiently regulated in the us?

Biotechnology critics, U.S. regulators and scientists agree that the StarLink episode (in which GM corn, approved only for animal feed, was found in taco shells) revealed flaws in the U.S. regulatory system. But they disagree on the issue of mandatory labelling of GM food products.


home + should we grow them? + engineer a crop + what's for dinner? + viewpoints
links + interviews + what about this fish? + discussion
synopsis + tapes & transcripts + press + credits
frontline + nova + wgbh + pbs online

wheat photograph ©h. david sewell/corbis
new content copyright ©2001 pbs online and wgbh/frontline/nova

Support provided by

For new content
visit the redesigned
NOVA site