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DINNER AT THE NEW GENE CAF: How Genetic Engineering Is Changing What We Eat, How We Live, and the Global Politics of Food

Bill Lambrecht, Author
Bill Lambrecht, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-312-26575-5
Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
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Lambrecht, a reporter with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has written an indispensable history of the political storm surrounding GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Beginning before the Federal Government first approved genetically modified crops (in 1998) and taking us to the present, Lambrecht traces the struggle by Monsanto Company—the industry leader referred to as "Monsatan" by the opposition—to overcome the backlash to GMOs that has spread from Europe to other continents and to the United States. This book's greatest asset is the firsthand testimony it gives from every side of the debate. Lambrecht himself reported on everything from the Starlink controversy, in which genetically altered corn that had not been tested on humans turned up in Taco Bell products, to the World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, which he witnessed firsthand, to the conference on bio-safety in Montreal, where an international agreement to precautionary language on GMOs marked the first step toward a global compromise. He provides transcripts of interviews with players such as Monsanto chairman Robert B. Shapiro, anti-GMO guru Jeremy Rifkin and Iowa farmer Earl Sime, who tells why farming is in jeopardy and how GMOs can help. Lambrecht talks with farmers, activists and government leaders in Europe, India and Africa, and shows why Monsanto's long-term future lies in foreign markets and why the ultimate success or failure of GMOs rests with consumers. (Sept.)

Forecast:If given due review attention and prominent displays following Lambrecht's author tour, this could be the breakout book on GMOs. The potential readership—people who are concerned about what they eat—is huge.

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