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Against the Grain: Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food Paperback – July 1, 2002
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None of the genetically engineered crops now available have any of these characteristics. In fact new genetically engineered seeds require high-quality soils, huge investment in machinery and an increased use of chemicals.As "Against the Garin" so adeptly illustrates, the genetic engineering revolution has nothing to do with feeding the world's hungry but everything to do with enriching a priviledged few.
And, of course, there's the issue of corporate greed. Lappe argues that companies like Monsanto force farmers into brand-loyalty by making seeds that are engineered to respond best to certain chemicals, usually those sold by the same company selling the seed. (Shocker!)
The theme of this book is simply that there are too many unstudied potential risks to the process.
Case in point: A Cornell University study announces (just this week!) that altered corn has been poisoning Monarch butterfly larvae.
They note, "few genetically modified organisms have been precisely modified... As a result, genetically modified plants may be much more of a black box than the pseudoscientific terminology of 'transgenic' and implied genetic control connotes." (Pg. 14) They identify three reasons for "intensive regulation" of biotechnology: "transgenic plants contain novel genes which may migrate to unintended weedy species... products may contain novel proteins with allergenic or toxic properties... plants produced may contain higher concentrations of oversprayed pesticides..." (Pg. 73)
They warn, "The full panoply of effects from the release of millions of genetically engineered crop plants are presently uncertain..." (Pg. 96) They point out, "consumers lack any tool which would allow them to discriminate between transgenic and non-transgenic foods..." (Pg. 116) They note in conclusion, "The ultimate question posed by genetically engineered crops is...: Do we have the wisdom 'to play God'?... do we have the foresight and intelligence to substitute human selection for natural selection?" (Pg. 144)
This is a fascinating, well-reasoned and objective perspective on genetically modified food, and will be useful to anyone interested in this issue.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had to use the book for academic writing. The book is very informative.Published 18 months ago by Michael Morgan
The authors warn against the dangers of genetically modified (GM) grains and cotton. These dangers involve possible escape of the artificially inserted gene(s) for pesticide or... Read morePublished on February 13, 2003 by Joel M. Kauffman