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Vocabulary Quiz
genetically • support • effects
place • impoverished • arguments
  1. She is volunteering in a very area in Peru this summer.
  2. Both sides presented very solid during the court hearing.
  3. Disaster relief agencies are sending in food and water to the population.
  4. People that don't want modified foods usually buy organic.
  5. The government has been trying to get a law like that in for years.
  6. The doctor told me that this medicine is supposed to have very few side .
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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486 The GM debate
Ruth and Todd debate genetically modified foods.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

genetically modified foods

I was reading in the papers that China is doing research on genetically modified foods.

'Genetically modified foods' are foods in which the DNA has been changed in some way by scientists. In these foods, scientists are able to make more specific changes than they can through breeding techniques. Notice the following:

  1. Some genetically modified foods are ridiculously large.
  2. She won't eat genetically modified foods.

support the population

China will definitely need more resources in order to support the population.

Here, 'support the population' means to produce enough food to feed the people that live in a particular country or area. Notice the following:

  1. There isn't enough water in this area to support the population.
  2. Even on years with enough rain, there is barely enough food to support the population.

side effects

Don't you worry that there might be side effects that could lead to cancer?

We use the term 'side effects' to refer to the additional, and sometimes unexpected effects, that occur when certain procedures or medicines are used. We usually use 'side effects' to talk about the unpleasant additional effects. Notice the following:

  1. Sometimes it seems that the side effects of a drug are worse than the original problem.
  2. These headaches I'm getting must be a side effect of the medicine that I've been taking.

in place

There has to be laws and procedures in place so that the research is controlled.

Here, 'in place' refers to rule that has been created and is in use, monitored and enforced. Notice the following:

  1. We have all of these laws in place, but nobody does a good job enforcing them.
  2. That law will come into place next March.


I can understand why people would want to use it for feeding impoverished areas.

People in 'impoverished' areas have very little money and frequently don't have enough food. Notice the following:

  1. He grew up in an impoverished area.
  2. This is a very impoverished neighborhood, but there are many government programs that are trying to change that.

solid argument

That's a pretty solid argument, and I pretty much agree with you on that.

A 'solid argument' has a lot of support and evidence to support it. Notice the following:

  1. The debate was good, and both sides had some very solid arguments.
  2. Although many people don't believe in his theory, I feel like he has presented some solid arguments.