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 You are in: Special Report: 1999: 02/99: Food under the microscope  
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Food under the microscope Tuesday, 18 May, 1999, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Special report: Food under the microscope
Scientists have the power to take a gene from one organism and put it into an entirely different species. It is already having a dramatic impact on the production of new drugs and researchers are now altering the crops that are used to make our most basic foods. It should make the products on supermarket shelves tastier and healthier. But there are those who fear genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) will only damage the environment and make us ill.
Key issues
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GM Q & A
With growing concern about the safety of genetically-modified crops and the possible impact on human health and the environment, BBC News Online answers your questions about GM foods.

The power of genes
It is difficult to think of another technology that has caused as much debate or concern as that of genetic engineering and its application to food - nuclear power apart.
Better test for GM foods
A new test may make it easier to detect genetically-modified ingredients in processed foods.
Perils of far-flung pollen
Pollen from GM crops can travel very long distances - but there are ways to minimise the risks of its genes "leaking" into the wider environment.
Hard won profits
Genetically-modified food is making big headlines, but most biotech firms still make a loss and the number of GM food products on the market is still small.

The GM debate
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Head to head
The pros and cons of GM foods are hotly contested. We bring together two opposing camps to put their side of the argument - environmental campaigners Greenpeace against biotech company AgrEvo.

A political hot potato
Whilst the UK government is convinced of the benefits of GM foods, its political opponents are calling for tougher measures to control the new technology.
Friend or foe?
GM crops might damage the environment - they could also provide the solutions to many of the problems we now face in the countryside.
Prince Charles speaks out
The Prince of Wales lays out his objections to a technology he says is "meddling with the building blocks of life".
GM links
The Web is alive with links on genetic engineering in general and the modification of food in particular. Here are just a few of the sites currently on offer.
Links to more Food under the microscope stories are at the foot of the page.


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