Genetically Modified Foods *
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.
AbstractGenetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose DNA have been manipulated to give them new traits. In genetically modified (GM) food crops traits like resistance to drought or pesticide might be added, or the crop may have been made more nutritious, or the taste may be altered to give you something like the impossible burger. Are there GMOs in your favorite foods? Many countries have implemented or are in the process of implementing GMO labeling on foods, but with a little bit of molecular biology know-how you can test your favorite foods yourself! Start out by researching how and why GMOs are made as well as their safety record. Then pick a few foods to test and use the GM Food and Amplification Kit from our partners at Carolina Biological to do your own testing. You will need access to a laboratory with equipment to carry out PCR (polymerase chain reactions) and gel electrophoresis. Which foods do you think use GMOs and why do they do it?
Figure 1. You can perform PCR and DNA electrophoresis, which is shown here (a gel is being loaded with DNA), to test for GMO-products. (Photo courtesy of Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.)
Sandra Slutz, PhD, Science Buddies
Cite This PageGeneral citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.
Slutz, Sandra. "Genetically Modified Foods." Science Buddies, 17 Oct. 2018, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/BioChem_p025/biotechnology-techniques/genetically-modified-foods. Accessed 24 Aug. 2019.
Slutz, S. (2018, October 17). Genetically Modified Foods. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/BioChem_p025/biotechnology-techniques/genetically-modified-foods
Last edit date: 2018-10-17
Ask an ExpertThe Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
Ask an Expert
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Agricultural TechnicianAs the world's population grows larger, it is important to improve the quality and yield of food crops and animal food sources. Agricultural technicians work in the forefront of this very important research area by helping scientists conduct novel experiments. If you would like to combine technology with the desire to see things grow, then read further to learn more about this exciting career. Read more
Plant ScientistWith a growing world population, making sure that there is enough food for everyone is critical. Plant scientists work to ensure that agricultural practices result in an abundance of nutritious food in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Read more
Food Scientist or TechnologistThere is a fraction of the world's population that doesn't have enough to eat or doesn't have access to food that is nutritionally rich. Food scientists or technologists work to find new sources of food that have the right nutrition levels and that are safe for human consumption. In fact, our nation's food supply depends on food scientists and technologists that test and develop foods that meet and exceed government food safety standards. If you are interested in combining biology, chemistry, and the knowledge that you are helping people, then a career as a food scientist or technologist could be a great choice for you! Read more
News Feed on This Topic
Note: A computerized matching algorithm suggests the above articles. It's not as smart as you are, and it may occasionally give humorous, ridiculous, or even annoying results! Learn more about the News Feed
Looking for more science fun?
Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.Find an Activity
Explore Our Science Videos
Make A Tissue Paper Parachute - STEM Activity
Make Your Own Lava Lamp
10 Robotics Projects Kids Can Really Make!
Thank you for your feedback!