Beyond biotechnology : the barren promise of genetic engineering by Craig Holdrege; Steve TalbottIn 2001 the Human Genome Project announced that it had successfully mapped the entire genetic content of human DNA. Scientists, politicians, theologians, and pundits speculated about what would follow, conjuring everything from nightmare scenarios of state-controlled eugenics to the hope of engineering disease-resistant newborns. As with debates surrounding stem-cell research, the seemingly endless possibilities of genetic engineering will continue to influence public opinion and policy into the foreseeable future. Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering distinguishes between the hype and reality of this technology and explains the nuanced and delicate relationship between science and nature. Authors Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott evaluate the current state of genetic science and examine its potential applications, particularly in agriculture and medicine, as well as the possible dangers. The authors show how the popular view of genetics does not include an understanding of the ways in which genes actually work together in organisms. Simplistic and reductionist views of genes lead to unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, disappointment in the results that genetic engineering actually delivers. The authors explore new developments in genetics, from the discovery of "non-Darwinian" adaptative mutations in bacteria to evidence that suggests that organisms are far more than mere collections of genetically driven mechanisms. While examining these issues, the authors also answer vital questions that get to the essence of genetic interaction with human biology: Does DNA "manage" an organism any more than the organism manages its DNA? Should genetically engineered products be labeled as such? Do the methods of the genetic engineer resemble the centuries-old practices of animal husbandry? Written for lay readers, Beyond Biotechnology is an accessible introduction to the complicated issues of genetic engineering and its potential applications. In the unexplored space between nature and laboratory, a new science is waiting to emerge. Technology-based social and environmental solutions will remain tenuous and at risk of reversal as long as our culture is alienated from the plants and animals on which all life depends.
Call Number: QH442 .H63 2008
Publication Date: 2008-04-25
Labeling genetically modified food : the philosophical and legal debate by Paul Weirich (Editor)Food products with genetically modified (GM) ingredients are common, yet many consumers are unaware of this. When polled, consumers say that they want to know whether their food contains GM ingredients, just as many want to know whether their food is natural or organic. Informing consumers isa major motivation for labeling. But labeling need not be mandatory. Consumers who want GM-free products will pay a premium to support voluntary labeling. Why do consumers want to know about GM ingredients? GM foods are tested to ensure safety and have been on the market for more than a decade. Still, many consumers, including some with food allergies, want to be cautious. Also, GM crops may affect neighboring plants through pollen drift. Despitetests for environmental impact, some consumers may worry that GM crops will adversely effect the environment. The study of risk and its management raises questions not settled by the life sciences alone. This book surveys various labeling policies and the cases for them. It is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatment of the debate about labeling genetically modified food. The contributors include philosophers, bioethicists, food and agricultural scientists, attorneys/legal scholars, andeconomists.
Call Number: TP248.65 .F66 L33 2007
Publication Date: 2007-11-01
Genetically modified food : a short guide for the confused by Andy ReesWritten by a leading campaigner for GM Watch, one of the world's leading lobbying groups, this book reveals the huge issues that are at stake.Genetically modified food has been headline news for years, but it's difficult to know how far the genetic revolution has affected our lives. Is the food on our shelves free of genetically engineered ingredients? How much power do food corporations wield? Andy Rees provides the answers. He shows that, while corporations that produce genetically modified food have met with resistance in Europe, their hold on the US market is strong. They're also expanding operations in less-regulated countries in Africa, Asia and the former Soviet bloc.The US has launched a legal suit to attempt to force the European market open to genetically modified food. What does the future hold? This brilliantly readable book tells us all we need to know.
Call Number: TP248.65 .F66 R43 2006
Publication Date: 2006-08-20
Seeds for the future : the impact of genetically modified crops on the environment by Jennifer A. ThomsonPlants have long been genetically modified through crossbreeding and other basic agricultural techniques to make crops more resilient, nutritious, and profitable. In recent decades, however, advances in genetic engineering--including the ability to blend genetic material from animals with that of plants--have allowed farmers to grow crops that resist insect pests, weeds, viruses, and drought; provide increased iron or beta carotene; deliver vaccines and antibodies; reduce common allergens and pollutants; and augment marketable qualities such as delayed ripening. The complicated scientific, environmental, legal, cultural, and ethical issues surrounding these crops are being hotly debated all over the world. In Seeds for the Future, an internationally respected molecular geneticist and food researcher, Jennifer A. Thomson, describes how these crops are developed, distributed, and regulated.