Genetically Modified Crops Debate

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DEBATE STRUCTURE
Overall Argument:
Aside from common belief, scientists claim that genetically modifying plants is natural, and GM crops hold the only hope for feeding the rapidly expanding world population. GM crops can have health benefits, they have the potential of helping the world's poor people, and GM technology can help the environment. Genetically modified crops are thoroughly tested for potential risks and have to oblige to highly regulated laws.

First Talking Point (A):
GM Crops are thoroughly tested and highly regulated:
- Biotech firms say the every GM crop is tested for health effects in in-depth analysis. They are required to make sure that foods meet specific federal safety standards.
- They compare a GM plant with regularly bred plants to see if the new gene changes a plant's genetic makeup and nutritional value.
- If protein is the made from the new gene it is tested in high amounts by feeding it to animals. They test it the chemistry of the new protein against 500 known allergens to see if it could produce an allergy.
- Industries say that the testing system has worked and when scientists realize that a gene may sicken people they end the experiment.
- Three US government agencies have their say on each GM crop:
Department of Agriculture: safe to grow.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): safe for the environment.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): safe to eat.
- Under pressure from activists and the public, these companies have increased their vigilance and laws.
Rebuttal:
GM foods aren’t regulated and have poor oversight
- GM farmers have been developing and exporting GM crops too quickly without enough testing or debate from the public. Government bodies that oversee the industry are too lax in their regulation and observations.
- FDA says that GM foods are “substantially equivalent: to non modified food so they aren’t subject to FDA regulations.
- Producers don’t have to label GM foods so as a

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