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Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating Paperback – September 1, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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  • Seeds of Deception:  Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Recent news headlines have focused on the disagreement between the U.S. and Europe over genetically modified foods: the U.S. exports them, but the European Union doesn't want to import them, believing their safety remains unproven. Are genetically modified foods safe? Longtime anti-GM foods campaigner Smith presents the "opposing" case. He offers cases where GM produced results that were at best unexpected (increased starch content in potatoes), at worst grotesque (pigs without genitals). He describes how one corporation reportedly tried to bribe Canadian government scientists into approving genetically engineered bovine growth hormones they deemed unsafe; how some scientists have reported their careers were threatened as a result of their refusal to approve certain GM products in the U.S.; and how "conflicts of interest, sloppy science, and industry influence" can distort the approval process. The cases Smith presents are scary and timely, but he explores only one side of the story. Readers looking for a balance consideration of genetically modified foods will want to look elsewhere.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Publishers Weekly-

Recent news headlines have focused on the disagreement between the U.S. and Europe over genetically modified foods: the U.S. exports them, but the European Union doesn't want to import them, believing their safety remains unproven. Are genetically modified foods safe? Longtime anti-GM foods campaigner Smith presents the "opposing" case. He offers cases where GM produced results that were at best unexpected (increased starch content in potatoes), at worst grotesque (pigs without genitals). He describes how one corporation reportedly tried to bribe Canadian government scientists into approving genetically engineered bovine growth hormones they deemed unsafe; how some scientists have reported their careers were threatened as a result of their refusal to approve certain GM products in the U.S.; and how "conflicts of interest, sloppy science, and industry influence" can distort the approval process. The cases Smith presents are scary and timely, but he explores only one side of the story. Readers looking for a balance consideration of genetically modified foods will want to look elsewhere.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.



"Jeffrey Smith masterfully combines the art of storytelling and investigative reporting. The result is riveting, enlightening, and disturbing."--Jennifer Read Hawthorne, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul



"The revelations in this powerful exposé could spark the revolution that the topic [of genetically engineered foods] deserves."--Hunter Lovins, co-author of Natural Capitalism



"This book, which is the best written on the subject, is essential reading for food activists and concerned consumers."--Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the Organic Consumer's Association




"Seeds of Deception lays bare the blockbuster food safety issue of the 21st century. Every American should read this book."--James S. Turner Esq., author of The Chemical Feast: The Nader Report on the Food and Drug Administration

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Yes! Books (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972966587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972966580
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been a farm journalist for thirty years and have a master's degree in agriculture. During the late 70s and early 80s, when genetic engineering was coming on the scene, I was a strong supporter.
Over the years I talked to various biotech scientists who were becoming worried about whether the genetically-modified foods entering the food chain were safe. As the science developed, it was discovered the process of genetic engineering is anything but as straightforward as scientists originally thought. Chunks of genetic material jump all over the place once they are inserted into plants, and there is no predicting where they will go, or what effect they will have. There has been almost no research on the safety of genetically-modified foods, and what little has been done has shown these foods can cause a number of health problems ranging from allergies to food intolerances to cancer.
Both Canadian and US government agencies have taken the position (urged on by the biotech companies) that these new food crops are 'substantially similar' to existing crops, so do not need any study for food safety. And both governments are strong supporters of the industry, as I used to be.
The scientists I talked to became less and less willing to voice their concerns for fear of reprisals.
A few years ago, because of the knowledge I had gained, I began to make a point of avoiding GMOs, which is increasingly difficult, as they are spreading everywhere.
We are being screwed over and lied to by the biotech industry and our governments, and this book tells the story well and thoroughly.
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Format: Paperback
Having read a number of articles and books on genetically engineered foods, I found this book to be very comprehensive and very well written. I highly recommend it if you are interested in your health.

As a biologist who has worked with DNA, and respect it, I place great value on Smith's easy to understand explanation on the genetic engineering process on DNA. Smith has also carefully researched FDA reports and quoted several people in his analysis of GMOs and their impact on society. With methodological precision, his research reveals the close ties of the U.S. government with biotechnology industry in several aspects of GMO production. Even more disturbing is the influence of biotechnology companies such as Monsanto, Novartis, Dow, and DuPont having on the government - they gave more than 3.5 million dollars (from 1995-2000) towards campaign contributions, with 3/4 going to Republicans.

His research also reveals the impact of the genetically modifed amino acid L-tryptophan in 1989-1990 that debilitated thousands of people with EMS, a disease that produces severe muscle pain, and even death. Forty people died from taking this L-tryptophan. This product was never labled that it was genetically modified and the Japanese manufacturer - Showa Denko KK did not use the proper filtration level to remove the impurities. Subsequent from these health risks, the product was removed from shelves.

My favorite quotes from this book came from George Wald, Nobel Laureate in Medicine. He said for genetic engineeering - "The results will be essentially new organisms, self-perpetuating and hence permanent. Once created, they cannot be recalled" and "Up to now, living organisms have evolved very slowly and new forms have had plenty of time to settle in.
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Jeffrey Smith, the author of this book, is a plain-spoken but hardly elegant writer. He doesn't need to be; the facts he reports about GM (genetically modified) foods and the relentless efforts of Monsanto Corp. to get them into American and world markets need no dressing up in fancy prose. It's hard to decide which is scariest: the grave doubts about the safety of specific products such as the FlavrSavr tomato and StarLink corn; the myriad possibilities for unpredictable results to the environment and the general food supply, given the current scanty knowledge of genes, genetics and the possible consequences of unchecked modification of basic biological codes; or the systematic, epidemic failure of governmental agencies charged with protecting the health of the general public in the U.S. and Canada to act.
It would be easy to dismiss "Seeds of Deception" as a partisan rant against Republican governments and big business, but Smith is evenhanded in his indictments. According to him, Monsanto Corp. has engaged in a systematic campaign to pressure both Democratic and Republican administrations in the United States to allow GM foods to be marketed without proper safeguards and testing. What seems to have saved the world so far is the vigorous resistance of European and overseas markets to the entry of genetically modified food products that have not been properly tested, consquently making several highly promoted products uneconomical to produce. Nevertheless, modified genes have already "escaped" into the general food supply to an alarming degree.
In the final portion of the book Smith gives suggestions on how the reader can protect him/herself against unknowingly consuming GM foodstuffs, and also asks for contributions so that copies of his book can be sent to those in positions of power. I'm sending him a check.
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