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Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food
Synopses & Reviews
Once confined to the research laboratory, the genetic engineering of plants is now a big business that is changing the face of modern agriculture. Giant corporations are creating designer crops with strange powers-from cholesterol-reducing soybeans to plants that act as miniature drug factories, churning out everything from vaccines to insulin. They promise great benefits: better health for consumers, more productive agriculture-even an end to world hunger. But the vision has a dark side, one of profit-driven tampering with life and the possible destruction of entire ecosystems. In Lords of the Harvest, Daniel Charles takes us deep inside research labs, farm sheds, and corporate boardrooms to reveal the hidden story behind this agricultural revolution. He tells how a handful of scientists at Monsanto drove biotechnology from the lab into the field, and how the company's opponents are fighting back with every tool available to them, including the cynical manipulation of public fears. A dramatic account of boundless ambition, political intrigue, and the quest for knowledge, Lords of the Harvest is ultimately a story of idealism and of conflicting dreams about the shape of a better world.
Book News Annotation:
Charles (technology correspondent, National Public Radio) has written a fascinating account of the history and personalities behind the engineering of genetically modified food at Monsanto and the dubious methods used to promote this food to farmers. Rather than an emotional argument for or against such technology, Charles lets the stories of those involved (he interviewed many of them) as well as the sequence of events tell the tale.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A riveting tale of the battle over genetically engineered foods, and an inside look at a biotech food empire.
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