Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Harvest of Fear

Program Overview


What are the arguments for and against genetically engineered foods? Join NOVA and FRONTLINE as they track the debate and explore the issues.

The program:

  • explains how scientists use genetic engineering to isolate a specific gene from one organism and insert it into another, possibly unrelated, organism.

  • provides examples of benefits of this technique, including engineering plants that can survive being sprayed by weedkiller or can create their own pest defenses.

  • introduces opposition that states there is no way to predict with complete certainty what effects these genetically engineered plants may have on the environment.

  • presents concerns that genes from an engineered plant could spawn superweeds and superbugs.

  • reviews the practice of planting a 10 percent "refuge" around crops in which insects can reside.

  • speculates on fear that proteins produced by inserted genes might be dangerous, either because the proteins themselves are allergenic or because they might alter the plant's chemistry, making it toxic.

  • examines the need for genetically engineered foods, including the claim that these foods will help reduce starvation and improve nutrition in developing countries.

Note: The use of the term genetically modified foods in this lesson refers to foods that have been modified via genetic engineering.

Teacher's Guide
Harvest of Fear
BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY IDEAS FROM TEACHERS RELATED NOVA RESOURCES INTERACTIVE FOR STUDENTS
   

Support provided by