Listen to two friends talking about genetically modified food. Frank is for GM food, but Ann is against it.

Professionals Podcasts - Biotechnology


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would you please help me to get the right meaning of the following ?

( and playing around with crops is playing havoc with the wildlife.)
thanks a lot

Hi nicky62,

'playing around with' means something like 'experimenting with' or 'trying different alternatives'. 'to play havoc with' means 'to harm' in this case. If you follow the links you can see other example sentences with these phrases in them.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Quite a controversial question.

On the one hand I understand, that the progress is going ahead and, most likely, in some decades everithing around us will be genetically altered (even human beings).
From this point of view I have to agree with Frank - we really "have to move with the times".

But.. In fact I never give any GM foods to my children. And I won't do it as long as possible.
Just because I'm also cautious, like Ann, and I also don't want neither my children nor me to be a guinea pig.

So there are two truths in this question: one, sensible and progressive - is for humanity; and the second one, cautios, retrograde, and very egotistical - is for me and my family.

Peter, Sir, As you told me in the last comment. does the same thing apply here in this sentence as well ?
You have to be quite outgoing and able to communicate easily which I guess more of a talent than a skill. there is more of a talent and not more talent in this sentence. is it because talent is a countable as well as an uncountable noun

Hello SonuKumar,

Yes, that is right. You can say use 'talent' in either way:

I guess that is more of a talent than a skill.

I guess that is more (due to) talent than skill.



The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, In this podcast at the end, Ann Says "I don't like the way things seem to be happening around without much of a debate.
There is another sentence from the other professional podcast in which a person says " I guess it is more of a talent than skills. why is there much of a debate and not much debate and more of a talent and not more talent, is it because the person is talking about a particular kind of debate and talent ?

Hello SonuKumar,

You can say either 'without much of a debate' or 'much debate' and there is no difference in meaning. You could replace the word 'debate' with argument:

without much argument / without much of an argument

The reason both are possible is that 'debate' and 'argument' can be both count and uncount nouns. Thus you can say 'without much debate' (uncount - the concept of discussion) or 'without much of a debate' (count - an example of a discussion).



The LearnEnglish Team

In Viet Nam we dont have a law for GM food and it not popular in my country.
I think GM food is a source of hope for uor fututer because the source natural will be empty and people must to create a new food, new enery or ect.

I think that we are on the way to find (the theory of everything) and our behavior to find this theory will threaten our exist on this planet
All the time ..there are ethical principles should be considered ..or our future is unknown.

☆ What are the laws in your country regarding GM food?
- The food law associated with the utilization of GM food in my country is regulated that any person who produces food or processes of food production resulting from GM organism must initially examine the items in terms of food safety for human health prior to release.
☆ Is GM food a threat to the future or is it rather a source of hope, in your opinion?
- To me, GM food is a source of hope to the future.
The impact of climate change on food production due to disruption of plant pests and soil conditions require efficient and effective solutions. The utilization of transgenic method is one of the options that deals with the constraints in the cultivation of crops.
Exploiting the potential biotechnology such as genetic manipulation is expected to improve productivity and product quality in accordance with environmental dynamics. However, this should be implemented appropriately through precautionary approach.