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Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public 1st Edition
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“Without doubt, one of the most important books of the last 50 years. I shall urge everyone I know who cares about life on earth, and the future of their children, and children’s children, to read it. . . . Steven Druker is a hero. He deserves at least a Nobel Prize.”--Jane Goodall, Ph.D. (from the Foreword)
“A fascinating book: highly informative, eminently readable, and most enjoyable. It’s a real page-turner and an eye-opener.”--Richard C. Jennings, Ph.D., Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, UK
“This incisive and insightful book is truly outstanding. Not only is it well-reasoned and scientifically solid, it's a pleasure to read--and a must-read. Through its masterful marshalling of facts, it dispels the cloud of disinformation that has misled people into believing that GE foods have been adequately tested and don't entail abnormal risk.” --David Schubert, Ph.D. molecular biologist and Head of Cellular Neurobiology, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth is lucid, illuminating, and alarming. As a former New York City prosecutor, I was shocked to discover how the FDA illegally exempted GE foods from the rigorous testing mandated by federal statute. And as the mother of three young kids, I was outraged to learn how America’s children are being callously exposed to experimental foods that were deemed abnormally risky by the FDA’s own experts.”--Tara-Cook Littman, J.D.
“Steven Druker has written a great book that could well be a milestone in the endeavor to establish a scientifically sound policy on genetically engineered foods. The evidence is comprehensive, clear, and compelling; and its credibility is irrefutable. No one has documented other cases of irresponsible behavior by government regulators and the scientific establishment nearly as well as Druker documents this one. His book should be widely read and thoroughly heeded.”--John Ikerd, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Missouri – Columbia
“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will stand as a landmark. It should be required reading in every university biology course.”--Joseph Cummins, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Genetics, Western University, London, Ontario
“Steven Druker's meticulously documented, well-crafted, and spellbinding narrative should serve as a clarion call to all of us. In particular, his chapter detailing the deadly epidemic of 1989-90 that was linked with a genetically engineered food supplement is especially significant. I and my Mayo Clinic colleagues were active participants in the attempt to identify the cause of this epidemic. Druker provides a comprehensive analysis of all the evidence and also presents new findings from our work. Overall his discussion of this tragic event, as well as its ominous implications, is the most comprehensive, evenlybalanced and accurate account that I have read.”--Stephen Naylor, PhD CEO and Chairman of MaiHealth Inc., Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, & Pharmacology Mayo Clinic (1991-2001)
“Steven Druker has done a beautiful job of weaving a compelling scientific argument into an engaging narrative that often reads like a detective story, and he makes his points dramatically and clearly. The examination of genetic engineering from the standpoint of software engineering is especially insightful, exposing how the former is more like a ‘hackathon’ than a careful, systematic methodology for revising complex information systems. I will recommend this book to my friends.”--Thomas J. McCabe, developer of the cyclomatic complexity software metric, a key analytic tool in computer programming employed throughout the world
“Based on over 30 years of teaching computer science at universities and on extensive experience as a programmer in private industry, I can state that Steven Druker has done an excellent job of demonstrating the recklessness of the current practices of genetic engineering in comparison to the established practices of software engineering. His book presents a striking contrast between the two fields, showing how software engineers progressively developed greater awareness of the inherent risks of altering complex information systems – and accordingly developed more rigorous procedures for managing them – while genetic technicians have largely failed to do either, despite the fact that the information systems they alter are far more complex, and far less comprehended, than any human-made system.”--Ralph Bunker, PhD
“Steven Druker has written one of the few books I have encountered, in my many years of public interest work, with the capacity to drive major change in a major issue. What Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed was to the auto industry and what Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was to synthetic pesticides, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will be to genetically engineered food. It is profoundly penetrating, illuminating, and compelling, and it could stimulate a monumental and beneficial shift in our system of food production.”--Joan Levin, JD, MPH
About the Author
Steven M. Druker is a public interest attorney who, as executive director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, initiated a lawsuit that forced the FDA to divulge its files on genetically engineered foods. This revealed that politically appointed administrators had covered up the warnings of their own scientists about the unusual risks of these foods and then allowed them to be marketed illegally. In organizing the suit, he assembled an unprecedented coalition of eminent scientists and religious leaders to stand with his organization as co-plaintiffs - the first time scientists had sued a federal administrative agency on the grounds that one of its policies is scientifically unsound.
He is a prominent commentator on the risks of GE foods and has served on the food safety panels at conferences held by the National Research Council and the FDA, has given lectures at numerous universities (including the Biological Laboratories at Harvard), and has met with government officials throughout the world, including the heads of food safety for France, Ireland, and Australia. In 1998, he was invited to the White House Executive Offices to discuss risks of GE crops with a task force of the President's Council on Environmental Quality. His articles on GE food have appeared in several respected publications, including The Congressional Quarterly Researcher, The Parliament Magazine, and The Financial Times. He earned his B.A. in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley (with high honors that included a special award for "Outstanding Accomplishment") and received his Juris Doctor from the same institution (and was elected to both the Law Review and the legal honor society). in 2017 Steven was awarded the Luxembourg Peace Prize for Environmental Peace.
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• Covered up the extensive warnings of its own scientists about their dangers.
• Lied about the facts.
• And then violated federal food safety law by permitting these foods to be marketed without having been proven safe through standard testing.
The book points out that if the FDA had heeded its own experts’ advice and publicly acknowledged their warnings that GM foods entailed higher risks than their conventional counterparts, the GM food venture would have imploded and never gained traction anywhere.I was completely shocked by what I read.
The book tells in long but readable form the sorry story of the history of GM food in the US and elsewhere. It's stunning to learn that the marketing and sale of such foods is effectively illegal in the US, and not much better elsewhere, and equally astonishing that this situation has persisted for so long.
I liked the sections on how exactly these organisms are manipulated, because armed with this information one is far better placed to deal with the rest of the information in the book, and also better armed and informed about how and why these things are just so scary and unproven.
The support of so many scientific organisations for something based on unsound information and research (or indeed a complete absence of such) is also surprising and shocking. But the details are there, and therefore I have no reason to believe that Mr Druker is not giving us the truth. Also amazing is the degree to which so many scientists have been ready to align themselves with the biotech industry when the evidence is just not there.
Personally, until I read this book I wasn't particularly in favour of GM, but then that was mostly just based on an idea that maybe we had overstretched ourselves in trying to do what we are doing. The battle with evolution in herbicide resitant crops, for example, an endeavor on which even King Canute would have been reluctant to embark. But now... now I just can't believe what we are opening ourselves up to. I will now go out of my way to avoid GMO, and to spread the word on how and why it's a technology that we simply must abandon.
Read the book, get informed, change your life.
Author Steven Druker raises an interesting parallel between computer systems and genetic manipulation. While computer systems – especially those that are life-dependent and life-sustaining – are carefully tested and retested to make sure that no “glitch” or “bug” could cause catastrophic harm, alterations to the far more complex genetic code of plants are made without similar precautions. These novel plants are grown, harvested, and consumed with little or no independent testing.
Two far-reaching reviews of GMO safety studies—one conducted by the University of Minnesota and another spearheaded by Dr. Jose L. Domingo, editor in chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology—both found that about half of the studies reviewed linked GMO consumption to health risks. If a car’s brakes failed in half of its pre-market road tests, that car would certainly be kept off the market until it met basic safety standards.
Altered Genes, Twisted Truth is a clarion call for a much closer examination of the environmental and health issues raised by each and every one of these products of industry laboratories. Everyone concerned about human health, the health of our land, and the future of food must demand answers to the serious questions raised in this book.
Most recent customer reviews
The pro-biotech community are absolutely eviscerated in this book. The potential for using this technology for the benefit of mankind is amazing, but as usual...Read more