Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating / Edition 1by Jeffrey M. Smith
Pub. Date: 09/28/2003
Publisher: Yes! Books
Without knowing it, Americans eat genetically modified (GM) food everyday. While the food and chemical industries claim that GMO food is safe, a considerable amount of evidence shows otherwise. In Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey Smith, a former executive with the leading independent laboratory testing for GM presence in foods, documents these serious health/em>… See more details below
Without knowing it, Americans eat genetically modified (GM) food everyday. While the food and chemical industries claim that GMO food is safe, a considerable amount of evidence shows otherwise. In Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey Smith, a former executive with the leading independent laboratory testing for GM presence in foods, documents these serious health dangers and explains how corporate influence and government collusion have been used to cover them up.
The stories Smith presents read like a mystery novel. Scientists are offered bribes or threatened; evidence is stolen; data withheld or distorted. Government scientists who complain are stripped of responsibilities or fired. The FDA even withheld information from congress after a GM food supplement killed nearly a hundred people and permanently disabled thousands. While Smith was employed by the laboratory he was not allowed to speak on the health dangers or the cover-up. No longer bound by this agreement, Smith now reveals what he knows in this groundbreaking exposé.
Today, food companies sell GM foods that have not undergone safety studies. FDA scientists opposed this, but White House and industry pressure prevailed and the agency's final policy--co-authored by a former Monsanto attorney--denied the risks. The scientists' concerns were made public only after a lawsuit forced the agency to turn over internal documents.
Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture, describes the government's pro-biotech mindset: "You felt like you were almost an alien, disloyal, by trying to present an open-minded view. . . . So I pretty much spouted the rhetoric. . . . It was written into my speeches."
In Seeds of Deception Smith offers easy-to-understand descriptions of genetic engineering and explains why it can result in serious health problems. This well-documented, pivotal work will show you how to protect yourself and your family.
- Yes! Books
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- First Paperback Edition
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Table of Contents
Foreword / Frances Moore Lappé
Preface / Arran Stephans
1. A lesson from overseas
2. What could go wrong - a partial list
3. Spilled milk
4. Deadly epidemic
5. Government by the industry, for the industry
6. Rolling the dice with allergies
7. Muscling the media
8. Changing your diet
9. What you can do
Appendix A: GM foods at a glance
Appendix B: Enzymes and additives
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I have not tracked the genetically engineered food issue carefully, having only seen mainstream media reporting. BEFORE I started reading this book, I thought that: 1. The genetic engineering technique is very precise and duplicatable, inserting single genes into a plant's DNA that do a precise job. 2. Genetically modified 'GM' food is essentialy the same as the non-GM counterpart. 3. There are few if any known serious health risks from eating most GM food 4. GM practices can reduce pesticide use because the plant has its own pesticide. This is an environmental benefit. 5. GM food can increase yields, given the same amount of land for growing - which has been a great benefit in some third world countries. 6. There are considerable environmental risks that have probably not been ade1quately studied. For example, monarch butterflies were being harmed in GM fields. Overall I felt that the issue was not very clear cut, there were great advantages, but caution is also advised. AFTER I read this book, I learned that: 1. The GM technique is extremely imprecise, it is like shooting a shotgun of genes at a bunch of DNA strands, and hoping a few stick. Furthermore, the surrounding genes suffer considerable collateral damage that is impossible to predict the effects of. 2. This collateral damage results in GM food often being very different from the non-GM version, especially in increase of toxins and allergens. 3. There are a number of well documented cases of people getting very sick, and some cases dying from these toxins and allergens. Yet, the FDA and GM biotech industry and mainstream media continues to say that there is little evidence of health risk. 4. One of the most pervasive GM foods is Monsanto's Ready Roundup soy bean. It is specifically designed to be resistant to Monsanto's brand of pesticide. This results in MORE of that pesticide being used. 5. The argument about increased yields to save the planet is often used as a last resort when you point out the truth about GM being an imprecise technique, and that there are serious health risks. It is a way of bringing in a moral dimension that most people will buy. Yet, the planet already has much more food than it needs to feed everyone. This is not the reason for GM foods. Profit is. 6. The environmental risks may be many and unstudied, to be sure. Much more shocking is that there are hardly any careful studies demonstrating that GM food is safe. Basically, scientificaly weak arguments are use to argue that there is no reason to conduct such studies. This is barely scratching the surface, this book is extremely well written and documented. It tells a sobering story of: * Corporate greed, * Rampant conflict of interest with industry being in bed with the FDA, for example: - Scientists warnings are routinely ignored - Monsanto officials come to work at the FDA to make policy, then return to Monsanto - The doctoring of information is much like what the current Bush adminstration has done with scentific reports about global warming. * Most funding for research in GM comes from industry. * People are afraid to do research that might discover inconvenient truths about the safety of GM foods - because they are bullied, threatened and can lose their careers. * Massive media manipulation filters out virtually all anti-GM stories books have gone unpublished for fear of lawsuits by pro-GM companies * Pro-biotech companies and the FDA itself have ample evidence of safety concerns, and they consistently lie about it. It reminds me of the tobacco situation. Some may complain that this book does not present a balanced view. You be the judge. And anyway, even if it is one one-sided, its about that that this side was aired. But don't take it from me, or from the author. Read the book, check the references, and reach your own conclusions. Even if only a few things in this book are true, it has major consequences. I reco
I thought that this book might be dry but it imparts information in a very readable way. It points out the health hazards of gmo's with clear scientific documented knowledge. It also shows the FDA's failure to properly test gmo's and how when proper tests are done, how haphazard, dangerous, and unknowable the effects of this technology can be. The industry's (including Monsanto esp.) bullying of the media and discrediting of sound scientific testing is exposed. It points out how The gmo industry repeats lies through a massive and consistent PR campaign to keep us ignorant of the facts. Buy this book for friends, family, church libraries, public libraries, and social action groups.
As a professor of agriculture, I have never seen so much misinformation and distortion in one place. This book should be classified as 'fiction.' Given the emotional nature of GMOs, there is a desperate need for accurate information. This is a topic the public clearly needs to debate, but debate should always be based on fact, not fiction. The use of fiction for public debate can only result in flawed public policy. I grade this book an 'F'.
As one who has worked with genetic engineering crops since their introduction, I see only mistruth, deception and lies in this book. For example, the author knows that Golden Rice will reduce death and blindness in Southeast Asia, yet still tries to convince you that this is not the case. GE crops either reduce pesticide use, (and pesticide poisoning) or trade either fossil fuel intensive cultivation or more toxic herbicides for more environmental friendly herbicides, that all homeowners can buy at Home Depot. If you read this work of fiction, note how many times the words potential, possible, hypothetical are used in describing potential hazards of biotechnology. I, for one, am distressed that this book may delay adoption of a breakthrough technology that will improve our environment, reduce starvation and disease, and make farmers around the world better off.