Writing Task 1 Practice: GMO food

Updated: Mar 12

Read the following passage. You have 3 minutes to read the passage. Get your stopwatch ready to time yourself. The time starts as soon as you begin reading the passage below.


READING

GMO food crops


GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. In GMO technology, an organism such as a plant, animal or microorganism is altered through genetic engineering. This results in various combinations of plant, animal, viral and bacterial genes that do not occur in nature. The use of GMO food crops are beneficial for the environment, safe for human consumption and result in higher yields for an increasing world population.


First, GMO food crops benefit the environment. Through GMO technology, scientists can create a crop that is resistant to pests. As a result, farmers can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals used on their crops such as insecticide and pesticide. For example, corn has been genetically modified to contain genes from a certain bacteria which helps repel pests. After this GMO corn was introduced, pesticide use on the crop decreased by 90%. A crop may also be genetically engineered to resist herbicide. A farmer can spray fields with herbicide and successfully kill pesky weeds while retaining the crop.


Next, health and government agencies have concluded that GMOs are safe. Thousands of studies have deemed that consumption of GMO food shows no risk. Independent studies at regulatory agencies all over the world test each GMO product and assess its safety. Since GMO crops were first marketed beginning in 1996, there has not been an illness associated with GMO. Moreover, billions of animals have been fed diets of GMO crops. No evidence exists that this has harmed the health of the animal.


Finally, GMO food crops are an efficient and necessary response to the growing world population. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more than 2 billion people on the planet. This means that higher crop yields are needed. GMO crops have met this increasing demand. They can also be engineered to resist droughts, floods or viruses. This is helpful, especially for poor farmers because their entire crop can be saved. This benefits poor farmers and increases their profits.


Now, listen to the Lecture. You may take notes as you listen.


You have 20 minutes to write an essay explaining how the points in the lecture cast doubt on the points made in the reading.


Do you need one-on-one support for your TOEFL Writing? Click here.


If you want to improve your Writing Task #1 and you need detailed direction and help, check out TOEFL Land's "Master Writing Task 1" course here.


Will the lecture always oppose the reading? To find out more, click here.

Subscribe for Free TOEFL Vocabulary Strategies .pdf