- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: TarcherPerigee; Trade edition edition (April 5, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0874779537
- ISBN-13: 978-0874779530
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,604,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World Trade edition Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Featured resources for residents
Explore these featured titles for medical residents. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
When two Scottish scientists successfully cloned a sheep in July 1996, the news sparked fierce scientific, ethical, theological, and philosophical debate, momentarily pulling biotechnology from the laboratories and thrusting it onto the front pages. With living proof that such advancements are no longer the stuff of science fiction, a whole new world of possibilities--and dangers--presented itself. Jeremy Rifkin is more concerned with the dangers of this technology, and in The Biotech Century , he presents numerous compelling reasons why we should be, too. Many of these dangers revolve around the seemingly inevitable commercialization of genetically engineered life forms that would come if corporations battled for the rights to patents on new or modified species of plants, animals, or even human beings. Rifkin warns that "designer" babies and genetically perfect humans, along with any other artificial creations, would wreak havoc with the gene pool and the natural environment. While he concedes that there are benefits to biotechnology, he makes it clear that the risks far outweigh the rewards at this time, urging for greater restraint and responsibility before opening what could be a Pandora's box. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
We are poised on the brink of a revolution of unparalleled real-life impact, argues Rifkin in this impassioned, erudite and well-reasoned study. Already, recombinant DNA techniques, computer gene-mapping and the globalization of commerce have begun to reshape life: the cloning of mammals for inexpensive pharmaceuticals is but one example. Though he does not dispute the promised benefits of biotechnology, Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and author of The End of Work and many other trend-tracking books, warns that we must closely consider its possible (and often little-publicized) negative consequences. A technology that can find genetic sources of disease, for example, can also lead to widespread acceptance of eugenic practices; techniques for genetically altering crops and animals to improve food sources could just as easily be used to create customized biological weapons. ("Scientists say they may be able to clone selective toxins to eliminate specific racial or ethnic groups whose genotypical makeup predispose them to certain disease patterns," Rifkin warns.) Biotechnology has the capacity to deplete, rather than enhance, Earth's gene pool and irreparably damage ecological balance, according to Rifkin, and it may transform our conceptions of nature and of life itself. Just as the Industrial Revolution caused unexpected problems such as depletion of natural resources, overpopulation, economic injustice and pollution, so the Biotech Revolution will inevitably cause problems we cannot yet imagine, Rifkin contends, especially if we fail to educate ourselves about the nature of biotechnology and neglect to make careful decisions about how it should best be used. This wide-ranging and deeply intelligent analysis is an excellent first step. 50,000 first printing; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
From what I remember, I enjoyed reading the book. Sorry I don't have much to say as I finished reading this about more than 6 months ago, but it was enjoyable. Just read with an open mind, and all should end well. Would purchase from this seller again!
Among the developments the book suggests may take place are:" Food and fiber may be grown indoors in giant bacteria baths, partially eliminating the farmer and the soil for the first time in history. Animal and human cloning could be commmonplace with ' replication' increasingly replacing ' reproduction'.Millions of people could obtain a genetic readout of themselves , allowing them to gaze into their own biological futures and plan their lives in ways never before possible . Parents may choose to have their parents gestated in artificial wombs outside the human body. Genetic changes could made in human fetuses to correct deadly diseases and disorders and enhance mood, behavior, intelligence, physical traits."
Rifkin is concerned about the consequences of such developments for the global economy and society' He is worried about the kinds of utopian efforts which might come from trying to create perfect human beings. And above all he seems disturbed on the way the 'genetic information' will be owned.
This book raises very great questions, questions which will be more and more relevant in the years to come.
It provides a great deal of thought and insight about these questions. And is certainly a valuable help in giving each one of some better sense of how we can understand the brave new world which is to come.
Now, as if we hadn't poisoned our food chain enough with chemicals, agricorporations launched genetically modified foods. That is what this book is about, and as always, Jeremy Rifkin offers us a fluently written book, with some very good arguments. He wonders in the first place how it even became possible to obtain a patent on a living organism. That is where the corruption began. How can you patent something when you only modify a very small part of the genetic structure ?
Furthermore, no studies were undertaken on the dangers of introducing all those newly modified genes into the environment. Rifkin warns us that we are "on the eve of a new Genesis". Genes of humans, animals and plants are interchanged "as if" it were "natural".
Finally, we have no idea if those foods are dangerous for consumption, since the FDA considers those foods as GRAS ("generally regarded as safe"), because... they are "similar" to normal tomatoes, potatoes, corn, canola, soya, etc... That's strange, isn't it ? On the one hand, genetically modified foods are "patented because they are different", and on the other hand, they are "safe because they are equal". Welcome to the fake democracy we are living in, defending only the interests of big corporations, but never of the general public (well, let's say, never again since the government fired Dr. Harvey Wiley in 1912, the last director of the FDA who really tried to put the general interest before private interests) !
What do we really know on the safety of this Frankenstein-food for consumption ? Dr. Arpad Pusztai discovered that Monsanto-potatoes produced deformations when fed to rats. It really produces a bunch of little Frankenstein's... His reward ? He got fired, under pressure of Monsanto.
Rifkin observes that insurance companies will never insure this kind of technology, since the risks are impossible to foresee. That's also why insurance companies will never insure nuclear plants. Common sense within the capitalist system is only available at insurance companies. In the meantime, the whole planet is used as the playground of this new Genesis, for big corporations to make profits, stealing our future.