Designer Food / Edition 1

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Overview

Absolutely everyone must eat. People decide several times a day what to eat and what not to eat, and the personal issue about genetically modified food is whether it is safe to eat—not only in the moment, but over the long-run. Designer Food addresses these and other pressing questions surrounding the ethics of genetically modified food in the premier, single authored commentary on the subject. Beginning with a thorough chronicling of GM Food's rise to fame first in England and later in North America, the book considers such issues as the symbolic importance of food, world hunger, food terrorism and sabatoge, and democratic public participation in the growing debate surrounding genetically modified food.
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Editorial Reviews

The Bookwatch
A well-rounded survey of a host of issues relating to food safety.
Science Books and Films
Overall the book is very current and diverse in its coverage...The author does a good job of presenting both pros and cons
— Allan Zipf
Library Bookwatch
A thought-provoking survey and commentary on the subject of genetically modified food. A wealth of research and a close eye on important factors in the debate such as world hunger, and the right to know just what is being eaten, makes Designer Food a superbly organized and highly recommended resource for anyone seeking to learn more about the double-edged sword of these recent, controversial, and rapidly advancing technologies in food science and production.
Experimental Agriculture
'Designer Food' should obligatory reading for all involved in the genetic modification (GM) debate.
This is a well-balanced, easy-to-read text that will be enjoyed by scientists and general public alike.
CHOICE
Genetically modified (GM) food is a hotly debated issue. Much of the opposition to GM food revolves around its safety claims. To sort facts from hype, debaters need to be informed, and this book is the best to date for that purpose. The author is fair and scholarly.
Journal Of Agricultural Science
This is a meaningful synthesis of the opinions and views surrounding GM food and crop issues. The book provides for students, academics and the public, a thoughtful and practical expose of one of the most controversial topics in current affairs.
Ethics
Much of the intellectual spadework here is done to give the reader a clear background on the origins of mad cow disease, the Star-Link corn controversy, and the cultural and political reasons driving European resistance to biotech crops. The book provides a view that is underrepresented in the philosophical and popular literature on the subject.
Choice
Genetically modified (GM) food is a hotly debated issue. Much of the opposition to GM food revolves around its safety claims. To sort facts from hype, debaters need to be informed, and this book is the best to date for that purpose. The author is fair and scholarly.
Journal of Agricultural Science
This is a meaningful synthesis of the opinions and views surrounding GM food and crop issues. The book provides for students, academics and the public, a thoughtful and practical expose of one of the most controversial topics in current affairs.
C. S. Prakash
Professor Pence has done a masterful job in telling the story of the controversy over genetically modified food, poignantly painting the views of diverse actors and analyzing the underlying philosophies of their arguments. And yet, Designer Food is more than a treatise on the debate—it furthers an argument on the future of food on this planet, and how we are to go about ensuring its access to everyone. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand the current debate on genetically modified food.
Norman E. Borlaug
Designer Food is a timely, well-written narrative describing the ongoing heated debate about assuring the world adequate sustainable food production without hurting the environment or wildlife habitats. Pence argues convincingly for the development of improved crops by genetic engineering.
Louis Pojman
"The issue of genetically modified food (GMF) is creating an hysterical anti-scientific phobia in Europe, and it threatens to create a similar furor in the U.S.A., as deep ecologists and naturalists like Jeremy Rifkin frighten the public about the dangers of GMF. In Designer Food, Pence offers an impartial, philosophical examination of the issues that is well-researched and well-argued. The work is a significant contribution to the fields of biological and agricultural ethics . . . and a true pleasure to read."
Science Books and Films - Allan Zipf
Overall the book is very current and diverse in its coverage...The author does a good job of presenting both pros and cons
Library Journal
Public debate still rages regarding the quality and safety of the genetic engineering (GE) of food. Proponents believe that GE foods are safe and have the potential to decrease insect and disease damage to crops, improve nutritional quality, and provide an abundant source of food for the world's exploding population. Critics contend that consumers are being used as testing grounds for new foods that are produced with no government oversight, no research studies, and little knowledge about the effects on consumers and the environment. Hart and Pence both present fact-filled accounts of what works, what went wrong, and what lessons have been learned regarding GE. Hart, a journalist who writes on health and the environment, analyzes the topic via interviews with farmers, scientists, politicians, industry representatives, and officials from countries that have banned the import of GE foods. She explains how biotech corporations use their clout by pressuring the EPA and FDA to stifle testing and regulation. Pence (Flesh of My Flesh: The Ethics of Cloning Humans), a medical ethicist at the University of Alabama, categorizes the issue into four perspectives: naturalism, scientific progressivism, egalitarianism, and libertarian globalism. Although Pence agrees that more research and sound policy is important, he has little patience for the motives of environmentalists, antitechnology activists, and proponents of organic farming, who he claims are deceiving the public with erroneous information and bad science. Pence's chapter on mad cow disease and the public-health consequences of the livestock industry's careless use of biotechnology and lax safety and inspection standards is particularly disturbing. Both books offer a good analysis of the issues in this complex debate; choose Hart if you want journalistic reportage and Pence if you prefer a scholarly and scientific approach. Those who want more commentary regarding the opinions of all players in this complex debate should read Bill Lambrecht's Dinner at the New Gene Caf or Martin Teitel and others' Genetically Engineered Food. For nonpolitical discourse on the achievements of genetic engineering through the ages, don't overlook Sue Hubbell's Shrinking the Cat. Irwin Weintraub, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Pence, who teaches bioethics in the department of philosophy in the School of Medicine at the U. of Alabama in Birmingham, provides a one- sided argument on genetically modified (GM) foods, coming down resoundingly in their favor. A proponent of the argument that GM foods will prevent famine, he argues that GM foods, with the "chemically intense fertilizers" they require, are more appropriate than organic methods to eliminate mass starvation. He is emphatic too that GM technology will not reduce biodiversity. These and similar arguments are connected in places to ideas from philosophy and metaphysics that Pence contends govern them and, presumably, their validity. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742508392
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory Pence is a medical ethicist with twenty years of experience reviewing significant cases in bioethics, and is professor in the School of Medicine and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alabama. Pence has contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. He is the author of Classical Cases in Medical Ethics: Accounts of the Cases that Shaped Medical Ethics, 3rd edition (2000) and Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? (1998).
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Organic versus Genetically Modified Food Chapter 3 The Politics of Genetically Modified Food Chapter 4 Four Perspectives on Food Chapter 5 Europe and Mad Cow Disease Chapter 6 Is Genetically Modified Food Safe? Chapter 7 Genetically Modified Crops, Environmental Ethics, and Ecofascism Chapter 8 Why Genetically Enhanced Food Will Help End Starvation Chapter 9 Will Genetically Modified Crops Hurt the Environment? Chapter 10 Six Concluding Reflections Chapter 11 Appendix: Groups Advocating Food Policy Chapter 12 Notes Chapter 13 Index
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