Course 1: Making Yogurt the Scientific Way

Lesson Goals

  • To hear a specific GMO opinion with an open mind.
  • To consider how many different opinions interact in a complex world.


Key Terms

  • Vanillin
  • “Natural”




Hi everybody! Welcome back to Synthetic Biology One. In this series, we present different opinions on the GMO debate. I know that you all have opinions on this, but try to leave them aside for now. Instead, focus on four questions that will help us to understand the many different sides of the debate and how they interact.

  1. Where does this opinion come from?
  2. What is the author’s relationship with GMOs?
  3. What specific regulations or policies do they want?
  4. How do they hope these regulations will achieve their broader goals?

Today’s opinion comes from Friends of the Earth, an international network of environmental organizations with members in 75 countries. In 2014, they released an issue brief on the use of vanillin produced by genetically modified yeast to add vanilla flavor to food.

Issue Brief: Synbio Vanillin


Optional Links and Further Reading

Friends of the Earth International

Course Curriculum