February 25, 2021
Veterinary and Consumer Inquiries
The following quote is attributed to Susan Mayne, Ph.D., Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition:
“The FDA’s new, interactive, supplementary curriculum is designed for use in middle and high school science classes to help students learn about food agriculture and the use of biotechnology, such as the genetic engineering of plants, in our food supply. A team of U.S. teachers in the fields of agriculture, biology, environmental science, technology and related subjects, along with experts from the FDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advised in the development of the science-based curriculum. The in-depth activities and labs are linked to current education standards and introduce science-based agricultural concepts of crop characteristics, planning and selection. It also covers how selective breeding and genetic engineering are used to obtain desired traits in agriculture today.
“As we see the growth and use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs in schools, jobs and our communities, the curriculum will provide students with hands-on examples of how science and technology are used to improve our food supply. Students will also have the opportunity to learn why farmers choose particular crop varieties to address environmental challenges, how new plant varieties are evaluated for safety, as well as how to recognize new labeling required by January 2022.
“Understanding the science of biotechnology will be increasingly important for students as they learn to make informed choices about foods. We hope that this curriculum educates and also sparks students’ curiosity into the ever-growing and exciting field of STEM and food agriculture. ”
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Science and Our Food Supply: Exploring Food Agriculture and Biotechnology, is a free and online supplemental curriculum for middle and high school students on the science behind genetically engineered plants. The curriculum can be taught in-person or by using the various virtual-learning platforms teachers use with students.
- The curriculum covers many of the same topics as the FDA’s consumer education initiative, “Feed Your Mind,” that was launched in March 2020 and developed in collaboration with USDA and EPA.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.