Professionals Podcasts - Biotechnology

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

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Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


I dont know if we have a specific reason to make achange in the genitic composition of the the plants
If we said we are making this to increase the productivity ..let us know that there is a big amount of waste food is thrown away
I dont want to eat a watermillon in winter because its taste is horrible :)

I am from a deprived village of Afghanistan in which people are very poor.
people work for six to eight months of spring,summer and half of autumn just to have something to eat in three months of winter.No one has any income,people are busy on their farms and corps even some of them are not able to get adequate harvest for three months of winter because of inadequate rain to natural disaster.
When America come to Afghanistan I remember an organization provided some seed of wheat which was genetically modified,it was more productive than local wheat but it was not reusable.
Every year people had to buy the seed just to get better harvest

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.