IELTS Reading & Vocabulary: GM Foods
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Globally, only a tenth of the world's cropland includes GM plants. Four countries—the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Argentina—grow 90 percent of the planet's GM crops. Other Latin American countries are pushing away from the plants. And even in the U.S., voices decrying genetically modified foods are becoming louder. In 2016 the U.S. federal government passed a law requiring labeling of GM ingredients in food products, replacing GM-labeling laws in force or proposed in several dozen states.
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Could eating plants with altered genes allow new DNA to work its way into our own? It is possible but hugely improbable. Scientists have never found genetic material that could survive a trip through the human gut and make it into cells. Besides, we are routinely exposed to—and even consume—the viruses and bacteria whose genes end up in GM foods. The bacterium , for example, which produces proteins fatal to insects, is sometimes enlisted as a natural pesticide in organic farming. “We've been eating this stuff for thousands of years,” Goldberg says.