Altered Harvest

Jack Doyle, Author, Jack Doyle, Introduction by Viking Books $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-11524-2
When Congress extended patent rights to plants produced from seed, in 1970, and the Supreme Court ruled 10 years later that biotechnology processes could be patented, a critical merger of genetic and corporate power was set in motion. By 1982, 30 major corporations had invested in new biotechnologies focusing on agriculture; in 1984, more than 100 companies were involved in agricultural-genetics research. Doyle, author of Lines Across the Land, presents a thoughtful, well-documented study of an important issue that affects us allthe race for ultimate control of the world's food market. Gene-splicing in crops and embryo engineering in livestock are shifting control of food production from farmers to scientists to big business, a trend that may reduce agricultural options and diminish ecological diversity. Doyle notes that nearly all plant-breeding programs emphasize yield and uniformity, with little attention paid to nutrition. He questions the propriety of patenting food-producing resources and whether such patents facilitate economic concentration in the food and farm systems. While biotechnology and genetic engineering hold promise of great benefits, there is an inherent risk in their application. Doyle gives us food for thought. November
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
Paperback - 502 pages - 978-0-14-009696-5
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