Lynne's Reviews > Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds

Uncertain Peril by Claire Hope Cummings
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's review
Jan 05, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: environment-and-food
Read in January, 2010 , read count: 1

Thank heavens for audio books: this would have been long and tedious in print. But stop! It is also highly informative, and even inspirational.

The venerable seed has become the pawn of politicians and genetic tinkerers like Monsanto. Seeds are the only thing standing between humanity and starvation. Cummings makes an excellent case here: we simply cannot continue to let big business and governments play with the future of our food.

Yes, the book is a bit verbose and not particularly well organized. But download the audio version from your library and immerse yourself in this detailed and insightful story of the first crops, the frightening secrets of genetic engineering, the shameful pliability of government policies, and a renewed respect for seeds. I'm going to be a LOT more selective in choosing what I plant and eat from now on!

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message 1: by Lynne (last edited Mar 27, 2015 04:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lynne Book notes on genetic engineering:
- EPA regulates environment, pesticides
- FDA regulates food, drugs
- APHIS (Animal, Plant & Health Inspection Service) controls field testing
All 3 are independent and do not coordinate their activities. There are no regulations (in the U.S.) with respect to GMOs. Regulatory agencies defend GE use on the basis of "substantial equivalence" (ie. they are the same as their natural counterparts) although there are no scientific parameters for this definition.

GE puts control over seeds and food in the hands of a few corporations who have their own (certainly not our) best interests in mind.

GE does not address the real issues plaguing agriculture and food security (fresh water, soil, etc.)

Farming is not an altruistic endeavor. It is business. The higher production, the lower the price.

Bt is safe in its natural form where it is activated in the guts of susceptible insects. GE bt is a shortened form that is always activated or "switched on" affecting soil microbes as well as beneficial insects.

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