University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
Recommended by:
Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

Genetically Modified Crops

Ethical conflicts - exercise

 Goals Rights & Responsibilities

For many controversial topics, it’s easy to become confused by the differing opinions. It’s very hard to know which side has:

  • got it “right”
       or if they merely
  • put their point across more convincingly
       or if they are also 
  • influenced by conflicts of interest

In the case of GM crops, this is especially difficult as there are lots of vested interests in the outcome of the debate. Farming is BIG business and anything that affects it potentially involves a lot of money.

One way of teasing out the clashes between points of view is to ask ‘whose interests are being served?’

Make a chart like the table below. Imagine you are in the position of each of the groups in the left hand column and then complete the table.




Genetic researchers

Biotech companies

Environmental groups


Consumers in “developed” countries

Farmers in rich countries

Farmers in poor countries

Goals are things we aim for, rights are things that are due to us and responsibilities are the things we owe others.

You can download a ready made Word document here

Next: Gene patenting


What's your opinion?

Average rating

Not yet rated

Read comments

speech bubble  No comments yet. Why not be the first person to add one?