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37 of 72 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I've recently taken an interest in GM foods, and the curiously pervasive fear of them, and wanted to know more about the risks that people associated with GM crops. Thanks to Genetic Roulette, which boasts a tremendous following, I now know the risk: that fear-mongering, lack of scientific understanding, and a self-declared "expert" on a personal crusade might drown out actual discussion and rational discourse of the issue.
This book is full of pseudo-science, faulty studies, head-scratching presumptions, wild speculation, and a suspicious absence of studies with conclusions to counter its own. That last one is particularly curious; regulatory agencies spend millions of dollars and years creating and extensively testing these products, yet for all you'd know reading this book those tests were slipshod and apparently not even worth mentioning. One particular instance regarding a GM pea product that whose production was ended due to an allergen risk highlights a strange inconsistency in the book's evidence: how is it that this one possible allergen risk instantly shut down a product line before it was even sent to regulators for approval, but numerous other products which cause clear and significant damage to test subjects in nearly every study cited in the book somehow managed to slip by regulators and scientists with little more than an ambivalent shrug? I'm very skeptical of conspiracy theories, and this book sets off nearly every red flag.
Sure enough, a brief search online found a point-by-point guide of extensively cited refutations to the book's misinformation, revealing the faulty studies, misinterpretations, poor context, and outright lies while providing a wealth of other studies with excellent credentials. You can find it on academicsreview.org.
If you're skeptical about genetically modified foods or the science behind industrial agriculture, there is a discussion to be had, but it is NOT within the pages of this book. Mr. Smith is an activist posing as an expert, and his claims are deliberate misinformation.
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9 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey Smith's only qualification is an MBA from the Maharishi University of Management, where Yogic Flying - aka Butt Bouncing - is an integral part of the curriculum. When he ran in an election for the Maharishi's "Natural Law Party", he presented charts which he said "showed" that a bunch of people meditating and yogic flying lowered the crime rate in Washington D.C. by 21 percent.

In this book, his scientific reasoning is at about the same level. It is all spin, speculation, and ignoring contrary evidence. It is carefully designed to induce fear in the reader (since fear sells). However, it could take in an intelligent non-expert, just like the various tracts on climate change denial have done. Bear in mind, however, that the organizations you trust on climate change (the AAAS, the European Commission, The Royal Society, The US, French, Chinese, Indian, and Third World Academies of Science, the World Health Organization, etc.) have all made official statements to the effect that GMOs are just as safe as non-GMO crops, on the basis of hundreds if not thousands of independent (i.e. non-industry tied) studies. (Smith claims that Monsanto has subverted these groups. What a joke. If Big Oil, with its much larger resources, couldn't subvert them, Monsanto wouldn't stand a chance.)

Actual scientists have demonstrated the emptiness of Smith's claims in great detail on the website academicsreview.org. (Smith hasn't responded to these detailed rebuttals–or rather, "destroyals"–even after four years; he simply repeats the same nonsense over and over in his paid presentations, and now his DVD by the same name. As I said, fear sells.)
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
So many mis information it is hard to imagine one person could have so many
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10 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Until I watched this film, I wasn't even aware how gullible the public is about scientific claims. This film will cause any educated person to alternately feel insulted (because of the completely ridiculous and factually inaccurate things Jeffrey Smith and his panel of "experts" assert) and then feel embarrassed (because there is something pathetic about people putting themselves forward as experts when they demonstrably have so little actual knowledge about the subjects they discuss). There are good reasons for people to want to raise awareness about the technology of genetic engineering, what its potential benefits and risks are, but none of those are presented in this feature length infomercial.
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48 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading "Genetic Roulette" for the past few days. As an expert working in Plant Molecular Biology, I got interested in reading it because it presents one the most detailed reviews of the health risk associated to GMOs. It also promises to show compelling evidence about this. Well, none of these claims are true. This book is full of errors, misconceptions, omissions, misinterpretations and lies.
I started reading some of the papers cited by the author and found that none of the statements or concerns that this book rises are true. For example, the author claims that mice fed with GM potatoes developed alterations in their intestinal epithelia. A reference for this finding is given. If you are curious enough and read that paper, you will discover that they NEVER used GM potatoes in that study. Furthermore, the whole book is full of this vogus evidence, over and over again. The worst part: many claims were INVENTED, showing an amazing capacity to ignore the scientific literature on almost every topic the author discusses. Please, DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK, if you want know more about GMOs and transgenic organisms, please, contact researchers working in these fields in your city. Trust in real experts, make the GMOs debate a serious thing.
For a detailed review of the book, please visit the site [...]
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30 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The FDA and regulatory agencies in more than 30 countries have concluded that GM foods on the market today are safe. The European Union spent 10 years and 450 million dollars to study the safety of GM foods and concluded that GM foods are safe.

NGOs that support GM crops include: The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, the United Nations Food Agency. There are also 25 Nobel Laureates that have supported both the safety and environmental benefits of GM foods.

You will not find one credible scientist in the field to support the claims in this book. In fact, Mr. Smith has no scientific credentials at all. As the title suggests he was a a ball room dance instructor and a "Yogic Flyer" in the Maharishi cult. Are we supposed to take this guy seriously? It would be comical if it wasn't such an important issue.
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49 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Largely based on unsubstantiated anecdote and vague studies by anti-GM groups, whilst at the same time ignoring the many independant peer-reviewed papers that show his many 'facts' to be incorrect at best and completely fabricated at worst.

Do a web search for 'Academics review genetic roulette' for a chapter by chapter analysis of this book in the context of peer reviewed data. An intelligent mind will always read both sides of the story.

Which do you believe?
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32 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The author mistakes or incorrectly reports the science. What he presents as risks are speculation supported only by errors of fact. "Genetic Roulette" should be subtitled, "Speculation and Conclusions Without Foundation about Genetically Engineered Foods."
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18 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read this book for only 20 minutes and put it back to the shelf. I have to say, the author really lacks training from science. Full of conspiracy belief.
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25 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a book written by a man with little scientific education and training. He is not trained to think like a scientist or use any kind of scientific reasoning to deduce the conclusions that he makes. The layman of the world expect someone with credentials to educate us on these specific topics. If you have read this book please take everything at face value and conduct your own research.
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