For thousands of years man has been breeding new strains of plants and better agricultural crops - but the process is slow. Today's technology allows us to enter into the centre of the plants cells themselves. Incredible changes can be brought about in very short times, but are these organisms safe? Can we grow them openly without undesirable side affects on the ecosystem; and can we eat these new variants of traditional agricultural crops?
The documentary film “Genes on the Menu” highlights the issues surrounding these questions. Produced under the project Europe Biotech, the video was launched during the European Science Week in November 2001 at four live linked debates occurring simultaneously in Brussels, Bristol, Madrid and Munich.
More than 3000 copies of “Genes on the Menu”, which is available in English French and German, are in circulation. Since then, the video has become a documentary “blockbuster”: television networks from across Europe and beyond broadcast the film and the total audience must be in the order of hundreds of thousands.
“Genes on the Menu” - Facts for knowledge-based decisions
From Film to Book
The book from P. Pechan and G. De Vries makes its appearance against the background of growing debates on the role of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their appearance in the food chain.
It provides an overview of the current debate surrounding GMO’s and the key issues to be considered, with particular emphasis on the situation in Europe. This book provides in the first place an important account to the public as well as to decision makers, in order to allow interested parties to make informed decisions on the subject.
In a time where controversial scientific topics are becoming the battle-field for cutting edge scientists, it is most refreshing to get factual information.
Read extract from the original book
“Genes on the Menu” – The making of a teaching kit
From book to school
Having been judged the best of its kind, the Bavarian Government distributed the documentary film “Genes on the Menu” on DVD to schools and educational institutions. UNESCO has adapted extracts from the film which will be included in a special teaching kit, ready for global dissemination in 2007, together with other materials drawn from the project’s output, such as the book.
“The broad aim is to enable students, between the age of 13 to 18, to understand and engage in debates about new technologies and to make informed decisions”, Paul Pechan explains.