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Applied Nutrition
Internet Assignment 6
Read the follow material and use the internet to obtain information.
Answear the questions on a seperate text document such as MS Word, Notepad or Write then send it to me as an e-mail attachment at

Assignment Six
Future Foods: 
Are the New Food Technologies Safe?

So far we've looked at websites, magazine articles, a professional journal index (Medline) and books. But one of the very first places to look for information on a topic should be the encyclopedic article. Both online and print versions are written by experts on the specific topic, and try to convey a neutral, unbiased explanation of the topic. These explanations are good for:

  • overviews, 
  • broad background information, 
  • names associated with the topic, and 
  • fast facts about the topic. 
There are several online encyclopedias available through the Internet now, but let's start with an old-fashioned print encyclopedia. RMIT's reference collection (where we keep all the encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and other reference books) is arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System. This system organizes all human knowledge into 21 broad categories, and assigns each category a letter of the alphabet. The letter for medicine and health issues is R

Find the R section of the reference collection and see if you can locate an encyclopedia called the

The Encyclopedia of alternative medicine and self-help

The call number, those numbers on the spine of every library book, is like the address of the book. For this encyclopedia, 

615.503 E56

tells you first to look in the reference collection (REF), then the R section, and then the 600s of that section. 

Alternative Medicine Encyclopedia
Look in the back of the encyclopedia for the Index, an alphabetical list of all the topics covered, followed by the page numbers. If you look for Irradiation, you'll find an entry for 

Irradiation, food

Question 1
What are the page numbers for information on food irradiation? 
If you turn to the first page listed, you should find a short description of this process and the major concerns of its critics.
Question 2
Describe two of these concerns
This encyclopedia was written in 1978.. Let's try searching Medline for more recent information. Remember that Medline is the source where results from randomized trials and studies, and other research projects in the medical world are reported.

 Search for the terms:

"irradiated food" and nutrition

medline search screen

Glance through some of the articles on your result screen and read the abstracts by clicking on the author's names. Notice that a few of the listings tell you that no abstract is available. 
Question 3
How has the view of irradiation for food has changed over the last 17 years? Cite at least one listing from your results to back up your opinion.

Now let's use the Online Encyclopedia Britannica. Try searching for information on irradiation

Type the search term into the blank rectangle on the search screen and click on the SEARCH button. 

encyclopaedia britannica
Your search should result in a list of articles that mention your term. Look in one of the middle columns entitled, Encyclopedia Britannica. There is no main entry for our specific term, but if you click on the link, Negative Effects you will find a discussion of both positive and negative effects of irradiation within the main entry for Food Preservation
Question 4
List an example of both of these:
To cite this article in APA format, use the following example as a guideline, where the main entry for the article was Meat Processing:

Meat Processing. (2000). _Encyclopedia Britannica_. Retrieved March 21, 2002 from the World Wide Web:
Question 5
Write in the citation for your article 

Let's look now at Bioengineered Foods and the different opinions about them. Below are 3 different sites. 
Question 6
Look at each one of them and analyze them. Remember our list of questions to ask about websites? (Who wrote it, are there references given, who is the supporting institution, is there an inherent bias, and how recent is the information) 

See if you can find answers to these questions for each of the three sites: 

Site 6a Site 6b Site 6c
The online version of the journal New Scientist has put together a website of links to articles about genetically modified crops genetic modification world
Look at a few of these articles by clicking on their titles. For most of them, you won't be able to pull up the entire article, but you will get a detailed summary. Try to get a feel for the bias from New Scientist.
Question 7
Would you say they are basically for, against or completely unbiased toward genetic engineering of crops?
Question 8
Which articles did you scan that made you believe this? Give the titles and dates and how they led to your conclusion. 
NOAH is another popular site that prides itself on diseminating unbiased medical information both in Spanish and English. It is a joint project among the City University of New York, The Metropolitan New York Library Council, The New York Academy of Medicine and The New York Public Library. 

And they have some documents concerning food biotechnology and irradiation

Noah Subject Directory

Follow the link to Food Biotechnology/Irradiation/Safety and you should find at least 7 articles. If you run your cursor over the links to these 3 articles, you'll see the URLs displayed at the bottom of your screen. Two of the articles are posted by the same organization, Find the homepage for this organization (remember how to delete the endings of a URL?).

Question 9
What is the IFIC and what is their mission? Do you think they would be objective? You might have to look around their homepage to find a link to this information. 

The American Dietetic Association has published a position paper on Biotechnology & the Future of Food. Look at this page: 

ADA position paper on biotechnology

Question 10
What is their positionon GM and irradiated food?

The Organic Consumers Organization is a well-known non-profit organization that campaigns for food safety, organic agriculture, fair trade & sustainability.
 Here's a news article that will give you the flavor of their point of view.
GreenPeace is another organization dedicated to the preservation of nature. Scroll down a little until you find the link to their information on Genetically engineered food. greenpeace
Question 10
What are the main arguments against genetically engineered food from these two organizations? 
And finally, just for fun, click here for a website that has been described by some critics as "the best Genetic Engineering site on the web." monster

purple line


This is your final internet assignment for Applied Nutrition.

Make sure you add your  name, I.D.,  and your e-mail address to your answears , save a copy of your work  on disk then   send your answears to me as an  attachment   to an e-mail.   My e-mail address is:

Address of this page:
For questions or comments,please send e-mail to
Barry Brazier at
Last updated on August 28, 2002.

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