Will genetically modified food benefit society, or will it ultimately pose threats to human health, the environment and the world economy? These questions are debated in scientific circles, but the public gets just a narrow glimpse of the debates, usually in highly charged news articles. That will change this week with the launching of a Web-based forum that will provide the public and policy makers with the tools to understand the debate over genetically modified foods (GMF). The information available on-line will come from top scientists in the field who study the techniques of genetic engineering and their impact on human health and the environment.
"Controversies Surrounding Genetically Modified Food" is the latest product of the SCOPE (Science Controversies on-line: Partnerships in Education) Project. The Web-based project is the work of editors at Science magazine, which is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and scientists at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Washington. The groups are collaborating in order to provide a balanced scientific view of related issues and to do so in a way that might be useful to educators, scientists, policy makers, and the general public. (Environmental Toxicology Newsletter, Oregon State University, March 2001)
This article originally appeared in the April 6, 2001 issue, p. 29.