Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food

Lisa H. Weasel, Author . Amacom $23 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8144-0164-4

Eighty percent or more of all corn, cotton and soybeans grown in the United States consists of genetically modified (GM) varieties, according to Weasel. But she only gives these statistics at the end of her account of the battle over GM organisms, leaving readers till then with the impression that an equal “tug-of-war” is in progress. The author, a biologist at Portland State University in Oregon, also skimps on the science in the battle over whether genetically modified organisms and foods are safe for both the environment and people, focusing instead on the legal, political and emotional aspects of the tussle between big business, which claims that GM products can solve world hunger and reduce disease, and environmentalists asserting that bad science is being driven by corporate greed. She summarizes a number of the most important skirmishes, such as over golden rice (manipulated to have high levels of vitamin A) and the injection of artificial bovine growth hormone into cattle to boost milk production. But her account is relatively flat and superficial, doing a workmanlike job of covering political issues but leaving readers short of what they need to evaluate GM. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/13/2008
Release date: 12/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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