By Kathleen Hart
Pantheon Books, 2002, ISBN 0-375-42070-3; 337 Pages including notes and index
Kathleen Hart is a journalist who has been writing about health and the environment for more than fifteen years. She has covered agriculture and biotechnology for Food Chemical News and has reported on nuclear power and nonproliferation for McGraw-Hills Nucleonics Week. She previously served as editor of the Environmental Health Letter. Her articles have appeared in the Boston Globe and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists among other publications. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Sorry, I don't mean to spoil your Christmas dinner, but this book will turn your stomach upside down. It tells the dark and ugly secrets of the biotech world that are seeking to control the food chain, no matter the long term risks for the consumers. Labelling of GMO foods in America is still a controversial issue among manufacturers though consumers are increasingly demanding to know whats in their food. Unwittingly most Americans have been eating GMO foods on a daily basis, hidden in processed foods. They are hard to avoid, the majority of all the staple crops produced in the US (corn, wheat, soy and potatoes) have been genetically modified. Being standard ingredients of practically any processed food item, from mayonnaise to chocolate, bread, canned tuna, breakfast cereal, chips, ice cream, or even veggie burgers they have infiltrated the food chain as hidden agents. Yet, their safety for human consumption, let alone their long term effect on the environment has hardly been tested. Already we are finding people reacting to modified foods (though to prove the case remains illusive), wildlife disappearing, wild spices interbreeding with the modified varieties to breed God knows what...? Soon we will have to content with superweeds and super bugs that become resistant to the built-in poisons of the modified species - where will we turn to next in an attempt to control the environment for our own profit? What kind of world will our children inherit?
This book does not make pleasant reading, but it opens your eyes to the hidden dangers lurking in your fridge. As they say 'better the devil you know than the devil you don't' - this book raises awareness so that consumers like you and me can make educated choices and lobby on behalf of our health and the health of our planet for tighter controls (or better still, banning) of GMO foods.
Food is the staff of life, the core to our existence on this planet. If we allow it to become hijacked by financial interests we ourselves become a part of this chain and our freedom and right to an uncontrolled nature will be lost. We do have a choice, but we must claim it and stand up for our rights as consumers. This book will give you the knowledge on which to base your choices and protests.
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