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Genetically Engineered Food: Changing the Nature of Nature: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Our Planet Paperback – November, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (November 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892818883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892818884
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,497,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

As bioengineered crops cover ever more millions of acres, the likelihood of side effects and unintended consequences looms larger. Farmers will realize they were not told enough of the truth. And consumers will see there is no escape other than to fight back and demand an open scientific process and a response to persistent questions, with the burden of proof right on the companies. All this and more is why Genetically Engineered Food: Changing the Nature of Nature is so valuable for enlightening the public. -- Ralph Nader

By far the most accessible and informative publication on genetic engineering in food production that I have read to date. It is written so that the non-scientist can fully understand the scope of this technology, with numerous footnotes and references that are a handy resource guide for those seeking more knowledge. An excellent book. -- Katherine DiMatteo, Executive Director, Organic Trade Association

Cuts through all the hype and misconceptions surrounding genetically engineered food and provides the indispensable primer. . . . It will open up your eyes, change what you put in your mouth, and transform your thinking about food forever. -- Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century

For consumers who wish to understand why their food has been genetically altered--without their consent, with virtually no testing, and without labeling--Teitel and Wilson's timely book is essential reading. It tells us who the winners and losers are in this global experiment with the world's food supply. (Sheldon Krimsky, author of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment) As bioengineered crops cover ever more millions of acres, the likelihood of side effects and unintended consequences looms larger. Farmers will realize they were not told enough of the truth. And consumers will see there is no escape other than to fight back and demand an open scientific process and response to persistent questions and miscues, with the burden of proof right on the companies and their accomplices. All this and more is why Genetically Engineered Food: Changing the Nature of Nature is so valuable for enlightening the public. -- From the foreword by Ralph Nader

In simple, straightforward language... guide readers through the questionalble process of toying with a food's gene pool... -- The Environmental Magazine, January/February 2000

Martin Teitel and Kimberly Wilson have cut through all the hype and misconceptions surrounding genetically engineered food and provided the indispensable primer for every family in America concerned with making wise dietary choices in the biotech century. Finally, we have available a guide to biotech food issues that is informed, intelligent, and chock-full of common sense. I urge every consumer to read this book before walking into a supermarket again. It will open up your eyes, change what you put in your mouth, and transform your thinking about food forever. -- Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century

From the Back Cover

CURRENT AFFAIRS

“For consumers who wish to understand why their food has been genetically altered--without their consent, with virtually no testing, and without labeling--Teitel and Wilson’s timely book is essential reading. It tells us who the winners and losers are in this global experiment with the world’s food supply.”
--Sheldon Krimsky, author of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment

“Martin Teitel and Kimberly Wilson have cut through all the hype and misconceptions surrounding genetically engineered food and provided an indispensable primer for every family in America concerned with making wise dietary choices in the biotech century. I urge every consumer to read this book before walking into a supermarket again. It will open up your eyes, change what you put in your mouth, and transform your thinking about food forever.”
--Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century

“By far the most accessible and informative publication on genetic engineering in food production that I have read to date. It is written so that the non-scientist can fully understand the scope of this technology. An excellent book.”
--Katherine DiMatteo, Executive Director, Organic Trade Association

Picture a world where the french fries you eat are registered as a pesticide. Where corn plants kill monarch butterflies.Where soy plants thrive on doses of herbicide that would kill a normal plant.Where multinational corporations own the seeds that farmers grow and legally control the farmers’ actions.

That world exists. These events are happening now, and they are happening to us all. Genetically engineered foods--from plants whose genetic structures are altered by scientists in ways that could never occur in nature--are already present in most of the products you buy in supermarkets. They are unlabeled, unwanted, and largely untested.

In this updated and expanded edition of Genetically Engineered Food: Changing the Nature of Nature, authors Martin Teitel and Kimberly Wilson explain what genetic engineering is and how it works, then explore the health risks involved with eating these newly created foods. They address the ecological hazards that could result from modified plants crossing with wild species and escaping human control altogether, as well as the economic ruin that may befall small farmers who find themselves at the mercy of huge corporations for their livelihood. Addressing the “feed the poor” propaganda spread by the agribusiness industry, they describe how the genetic engineering “revolution” actually threatens to displace farmers in the Third World and intensify the problem of world hunger. Finally, the authors consider the ethical and spiritual implications of this radical change in our relationship to the natural world, and show what the future holds if we don’t act now to implement a moratorium on the production of genetically engineered food.

MARTIN TEITEL, PH.D., is President of the Council for Responsible Genetics, a national nonprofit organization of concerned scientists, doctors, and activists founded in 1983 to foster public debate about the social, ethical, health, economic, and environmental implications of genetic technology. KIMBERLY A. WILSON, former director of the council’s Program on Commercial Biotechnology and the Environment, works with the Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaign. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Tim O'Shea on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a writer and researcher, I ran across this book doingbackground for The Magic Bean, a chapter on soy ( ).P>The importanceof Teitel and Wilson's book is that in a very simple, readable fashion, they have presented the main problematic issues with GM, including: - its inherent unpredictability - the assault on the biodiversity of nature - irrevocable disruption of evolution - the patenting of seeds and life forms by the agri-giants - the sweetheart relationship between the FDA and the food giants: why GM foods aren't labeled - the merging of the food and chemical industries - the global oppression of the single farmer
Except for a few lapses into passe' early-90s rabid feminist rhetoric, the book could have been a pivotal work. It still may be employed as a primer for the non-scientific layman who is just beginning his research on the topic of genetic modification, and who has some suspicions that everything isn't quite so safe as Monsanto's PR machine would lead us all to believe.
The book is well researched, although the footnoting method is most inconvenient. I was fascinated by the sources that describe the current state laws regarding what may or may not be said in written or spoken media about food. In many states it is a crime to criticize food products! It would cost millions in court costs to challenge these blatantly unconstitutional state laws, rammed through legislatures by the agri-giants. The result is a de facto negation of the First Amendment. What else is new, huh?
If the reader has any interest in GM, this book is a good jumping-off point. END
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bruce H on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first heard about the issue of genetically modified (GMO) food a few years ago when the protest movement against it began in Great Britain and then spread to the rest of Europe. However, I did not know the issues involved...
After reading this book, I think I have a better grasp on the problems with GMO foods as contrasted to traditional food. The most shocking assertion I found in the book is that GMO foods do not offer any benefits (whether it be higher yields, higher nutritional value etc...). I have not done enough research to verify this either way but if true that would be quite shocking.
Some of the interesting things I learned in the book:
- GMO science is quite imprecise. Researchers are often not sure if the insertion of foreign genes into a host (e.g. a plant) will have the predicted results or not.
- The immense size of some GMO companies, notably the American firm Monsanto. (To give some perspective: Microsoft is to the software industry as Monsanto is to the GMO industry)
One of the most pressing concerns for me was the commercialization of agriculture. For example, Monsanto spent $8 billion US in the first half of 1998 buying out seed companies (a few companies may end up owning patents to all the seeds in the world if this is left unchecked). The new trend of patenting seeds is also creating a dependency on the part of the farmers. Prior to GMO, farmers would save the seeds from their better crops and plant those next years. GMO companies, through contracts and other legal instruments, now insure that farmers buy from them EVERY year and they penalize the farmers if they attempt to save seeds. The whole concept of OWNING plants and organisms was very disturbing (it was interesting to note that a little known US Supreme Court decision Diamond v.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Mackenzie on March 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a well written book that provides the facts about modern genetically modified foods such as corn and soy and explores the different avenues by which these foods can be harmful to us as well as other animals.
The book does not tell you what you should do, but it really does not have too because the evidence the authors provide is so compelling, that anyone who reads this book will think twice about their next purchase at the store.
The book also explores the nature by which large corporations such as Novartis and Monsanto are able to saturate the market with their products before ample (or any kind of) testing is performed. Monsanto is also on the path to a closed loop business whereby they sell the farmers the GMO seeds which in turn require the pesticide (or other chemical) also manufactured by saiid company and the farmer must also pay a technology fee for using the seed!
A must read!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By henryraddick@hotmail.com on March 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
The authors have succeeded in putting forward a well-researched and well-argued overview of genetically modified food which the layman can understand. It deals not just with the science, but with the moral, ethical and political debate. With one of the agri-giants reputed to be developing a courgette with a human conscience, this book examines the far reaching implications of genetic engineering.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a non-scientist I was able to read and understand the technology of genetically engineered foods (to my limited college student abilities).It made me think of everything that i put into my grocery basket. Indespensible information at your fingetips.
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