Share to Google Classroom

Should we label genetically modified foods?

Genetically modified foods have been a topic of controversy for years and while most would agree that GMOs have led to a greater amount of available crops, some would say that the benefit doesn’t outweigh the cost of foods engineered with pesticide intolerance. The U.S. recently passed a law requiring foods with genetically modified ingredients to be labelled. This policy falls in line with many European countries, but critics of the law say that genetically modified foods don’t have proven health risks and requiring them to be labeled will imply that they are dangerous.


Congress Just Passed A GMO Labeling Bill. Nobody's Super Happy About It

USDA Unveils Prototypes For GMO Food Labels, And They're ... Confusing

Additional resources to think about 

Should We Care If We're Eating GMOs?
What does it actually mean for food to be genetically modified, and should we care if it is?

How Your Food Gets The 'Non-GMO' Label
Demand for products that don't contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is exploding. Now many food companies are seeking certification for products that don't have any genetically modified ingredients

Engineer a Crop: Transgenic Manipulation
In this interactive feature from the NOVA / FRONTLINE Harvest of Fear website, you're the geneticist, with all of the latest technologies at your command. So go ahead. Create your own "supercrop."


Who created this message?

  • What kind of “text” is it?
  • How similar or different is it to others of the same genre?
  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
  • What’s the emotional appeal?
  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • How many other interpretations could there be?
  • How could we hear about them?
  • How can you explain the different responses?

What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

  • What type of person is the reader/watcher/listener invited to identify with?
  • What ideas or perspectives are left out?
  • How would you find what’s missing?
  • What judgments or statements are made about how we treat other people?


Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy,


Should we label genetically modified foods?

How was your Thinkalong experience?

We actively use feedback to provide better resources to students and educators, so please take 1 minute to provide feedback and help us improve.