Forum: Unit 4 – “Frankenfoods”

1. In your own words, what does it mean to be a genetically modified (GM) organism?

2. The CRISPR/Cas-9 gene editing system can be used to create plants with desirable traits. Recombinant DNA technology (discussed in Chapter 10) can also be used to create plants with desirable traits. How does the CRISPR/Cas-9 method differ from the recombinant DNA technology method when creating plants with desirable traits?

3. The FDA describes a GMO crop as “the common term consumers and popular media use to describe a plant, animal, or microorganism that has had its genetic material (DNA) altered through a process called genetic engineering.” Using the FDAs description of a GMO crop, do you believe crops modified using CRISPR would be considered a GMO crop? Why or why not?

4. The FDAs voluntary Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program evaluates the safety of food from new GMOs before they enter the market. Review the FDAs website on the Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program. After reading it, and after watching the videos in this discussion board forum, what are some ethical issues that have been raised or you think should be raised in response to genetically modified organisms in the food supply? In your response, include a specific example of a GMO crop, and state how and why this food been genetically modified. Cite your sources.
(URLs for the FDA websites: and

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