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Eating in the Dark: America's Experiment with Genetically Engineered Food
Synopses & Reviews
Most Americans eat genetically modified food on a daily basis. Yet many of us are barely aware that we’re eating something that has been altered; food labels do not include information on ingredients that have been genetically modified, and the subject has received surprisingly little media coverage.
Even as genetically engineered foods spread throughout America, most consumers abroad have refused to eat them. Opposition to genetically engineered food is now beginning to surface in the United States, where biotechnology is becoming a major issue for the new century.
Eating in the Dark tells the story of how these new foods, most of which are engineered either to produce or to withstand heavy doses of pesticides, quietly entered America’s food supply. Kathleen Hart explores the potential of this new technology to enhance nutrition and cut farmers’ expenses. She also reveals the process by which regulatory agencies decided to allow the biotechnology industry to sell its products without first submitting them to thorough testing for possible long-term threats to consumer health and the environment.
Hart has talked to scientists, farmers, industry members, and activists, and she has gained unprecedented access to the inner chambers of the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration, where the crucial decisions have been made to allow these foods into our stores. Combining a balanced perspective with a sense of urgency, Eating in the Dark is a revelatory guide to a subject of paramount importance.
"Call Kathleen Hart an ethical sleuth who finds the truth behind the closed doors of government and corporate America. We've all heard about genetically modified foods but Hart brings us to the facts through the art of the storyteller. This book ultimately becomes a tale of domesticity and wildness written by a journalist with both integrity and conscience. It is a testament to how we define health in the name of democracy." Terry Tempest Williams, author of Leap
"I don't think anyone who reads this book will feel comfortable with the brash optimism of the biotech hustlers — and their FDA handmaidens — any longer. Good thing, too." Kirkpatrick Sale, author of The Conquest of Paradise
"This book lays bare a scandal bigger than Enron: We've planted half our nation's fields in transgenic crops with only the dimmest sense of what that might mean to our own health and the health of the planet. Reading this volume will make you angry, but from that anger will hopefully come a renewed resolve to make our governments actually perform the jobs we entrust to them." Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
"In the spirit of Rachel Carson, Kathleen Hart gives us all the light we need, not only to see what we are eating but to begin to do something about it. Our failure to act — as the Europeans have already done — henceforth will be the product not of darkness but of blindness." David F. Noble
A former editor of "The Environmental Health Letter" presents an in-depth, authoritative, and unbiased account of the battle being conducted over genetically modified food.
About the Author
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-Hill’s 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.
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