M4A2: Analyzing Public Information on GMOs/GEOs
Throughout the reading for this module, you have seen that there are major controversies around the world about the safety of GE organisms. The public is confronted with a great deal of information from reliable scientific and unbiased sources, as well as a tremendous amount of slanted information used to support the positions of particular groups. The multi-national agri-business corporations, such as Monsanto, have billions of dollars tied up in creating and selling GMO crop seeds. Some environmental groups from around the world have taken a hardline stand against any and all genetic engineering. The government and scientific publications you have read in this module try to present a balanced approach, examining the concerns and managing public fears.
Completing this activity will assist you in mastering Module Level Outcomes 1, 2, and 3.
- Use a Google search to locate a website, page, blog, or publication that discusses genetically modified foods.
- Read the information posted carefully in light of the module readings, especially the scientific journals and federal government publications. Make sure to save the link to this location to include in your essay. Check to be sure your link works!
Next, submit the following:
You will be writing a 500 to 750 word essay (2-3 pages of text, not including title page and references) that addresses each of the following questions about the site you have located. You will be applying the probing questions you used in the Science Tool Kit assignments to formulate this essay.
- Include the link to your source, and briefly (1 paragraph) explain the key informational points you found on this web page.
- Locate the people, organization, or group that is responsible for the website, blog, etc. This is usually found under the “About Us” heading. Investigate this organization and any sponsors: Who are they? What is their goal or agenda for producing the web page, blog, etc.?
- Do the listed sponsors have any affiliations that make you think there is a biased approach to the information being shared? If so, who are they, and why might it be a biased report?
- What scientists, researchers, or government agencies are identified as being the sources of the information you have read?
- Do you think the writers of the web page, blog, or site “cherry-picked” data and facts for this post, resulting in a biased product? Give concrete examples showing how and where this was done.
- Do you think the site you located has any truly incorrect, false, or misleading information? Give examples, and show the data from our reliable sources in contrast to the website/blog information.
- Do you find this website, page, blog, or publication to be a reliable source of information on this topic? Summarize why or why not from your previous responses.
- What tips and techniques would you suggest to someone who wants to search the Web for more information about GMO/GEO foods so they can locate reliable information from trustworthy sources?
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