11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
An important and well-documented expose,
This review is from: Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism (California Studies in Food and Culture, 5) (Hardcover)
This is a well-written book by an author with experience in both the scientific and public affairs aspects of food quality and safety. Marion Nestle makes an effort to describe the complex scientific procedures associated with foodborne disease investigation, and the creation of bioengineered foodstuffs, reasonably clear to the layman / woman. Her message is simple and direct: as far as US government regulatory agencies, and the food industry itself, are concerned, food safety and wholesomeness is regarded as a secondary consideration to corporate profit. Her thesis is supported by a wide and varied list of references, including the scientific literature, print media, and quotes from participants involved in the struggle to make food safety one of the more urgent issues in contemporary public health. "Safe Food" covers such important topics as the outbreaks of E. coli caused by feces-contaminated ground beef; the ineptly regulated release of genetically engineered crops into farm systems and the spread of transgenes into native species; and the farcical (but ultimately tragic) mishandling of the "mad cow" epidemic by a British government blindly devoted to promotion of the beef industry. In each instance, Nestle documents how the food and agrochemical industries conspired to weaken federal oversight of food safety and quality by manipulating politicians and government officials, all in order to maximize profits.
The book is not perfect; some of the sections describing various scientific procedures may have benefited from the inclusion of explanatory diagrams, rather than somewhat belabored text descriptions. But overall, "Safe Food" is an important and timely book, and one well worth reading by anyone concerned about the quality of the food we eat.