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Eating in the Dark: America's Experiment with Genetically Engineered Food

by Kathleen Hart (Author)

Editorial Reviews
Genetically modified food is in the news and on our plates. And while consumers
may not have known they were being used as lab rats, America's uncontrolled
experiment with such "inventions" as StarLink corn, with its built-in
insecticide, is already well under way. In Eating in the Dark, environmental
journalist Kathleen Hart examines the battles being fought in boardrooms,
grocery stores, and government agencies over the creation, distribution, and
regulation of genetically engineered organisms. The truth is quite disturbing.
Companies like Monsanto began releasing modified seeds to farmers in the 1990s,
but consumers weren't informed. From baby formula made from engineered soybeans
to taco shells that cause dangerous allergy attacks, the stories here are
well-researched and frightening. Hart accuses the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration of aiding and abetting what she calls a public health
"nightmare," and she calls for both intense research and strong legislation as a
way of getting the experiment under control. --Therese Littleton

From Publishers Weekly
If we are what we eat, then we may be ingesting our way toward a sick new world:
that's the gist of Hart's cautionary examination of how "Frankenstein food"
genetically modified food, particularly corn- and soy-based products has come to
fill grocery store shelves in the past decade. Hart, a health and environment
writer for 15 years, is aghast that produce modified by biotech companies is not
labeled. She is bewildered that consumer resistance has been much slower to
develop in the United States than in Japan and in Europe, where test fields of
modified sugar beets and oilseed have been destroyed by scythe-wielding
"croppers." She worries about the impact of altered plants on pollinating bees
and butterflies, and she fears the long-term health consequences of an
uninformed and unsuspecting population becoming guinea pigs for an untested
agricultural technology. For all her concerns, however, Hart is no one-note
alarmist; the book is admirable for its exhaustive, balanced presentation and in
its grasp of the science and the politics propelling the biotech industry. Some
readers may find it a little dry. There are scattered colorful quotes from
British protestors and angry American farmers, and there's the tale of a San
Francisco woman who may have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to
modified corn, but otherwise Hart's book is short on human-interest hooks and
the storytelling punch carried by last fall's less fact-laden but more sprightly
Lords of the Harvest, by Daniel Charles.

Product Details

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Pantheon; 1 edition (May 7, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375420703



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