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Last updated:

April 16, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

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The genetic manipulation of plants and animals and their use in agriculture is one of the most controversial scientific developments of recent times.

This course, Social issues and GM crops, takes a look at the science behind the headlines and the complex interactions between scientific and social factors. By the end of the course it's hoped that you will have a clearer idea not only of what is possible with GM but what may be considered desirable.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand some of the social issues surrounding the development of GM crops
  • Better understand some of the social issues surrounding the development of GM crops, especially those that are ethical in nature
  • Better appreciate the disputed nature of the science that underpins GM crop development and how these relate to modern methods of assessing the safety of GM foods
  • Explain how the public consultation exercise relating to the possible commercialisation of GM crops was conducted in the UK and the merits and drawbacks of that approach.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:10:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:07:00
  • Preamble 00:10:00
    • Introduction 00:15:00
    • What is natural? 00:10:00
    • Do GM crops pose unique problems? 00:25:00
    • A closer look at ethical issues 00:20:00
    • Applying the principles 00:30:00
    • Can GM crops feed the world? 00:20:00
    • The second generation of GM crops 00:15:00
    • Pusztai’s experiments 00:25:00
    • Communicating Pusztai’s findings 00:30:00
    • Formal publication 00:20:00
    • Drawing conclusions 00:25:00
    • Introduction 00:10:00
    • Scientific risk analysis 00:15:00
    • Assessing GM foods: substantial equivalence is introduced 00:30:00
    • Incorporating substantial equivalence into national and international law 00:30:00
    • A critique of substantial equivalence 00:25:00
    • Responses to the critique 00:20:00
    • Safety assessment today 00:25:00
    • Introduction 00:20:00
    • The GM Science Review 00:20:00
    • The GM Economics Review 00:10:00
    • GM Nation? The public debate 00:40:00
    • The outcomes of the public debate 01:00:00
    • Summary 00:30:00
    • Conclusion 00:03:00

About the instructor

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