The Last Harvest: The Genetic Gamble that Threatens to Destroy American Agriculture

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U of Nebraska Press, 1996 - Science - 269 pages
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"This book is an outstanding successor to Silent Spring-it's a gripping yet even-handed account of what happens when good science meets bad public policy. The result ends up on your dinner plate, for better or worse".-San Francisco Examiner. "[Raeburn] recounts in fascinating detail how science and government have tried to protect our endowment of germ plasm through seed banks, breeding programs, botanical gardens and biosphere reserves".-New York Times. "A well-reasoned, timely call for American agriculture to recognize that putting eggs in a single basket can lead to disaster".-Kirkus. "Science journalism at its best: a lively, well-informed account of scientists at work that reveals how the vaunted productivity of American crops, achieved at the expense of their natural genetic diversity, conceals a devastating vulnerability to pollution and pestilence".-Barry Commoner. Paul Raeburn, science editor of the Associated Press, gives us an eye-opening account of how the genetic manipulation of American crops threatens our food supply-and what we must do to try to avert this disaster. This Bison Books edition carries a new preface by the author.

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The last harvest: the genetic gamble that threatens to destroy American agriculture

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The title of this book by the science editor for the Associated Press refers to the genetic uniformity in crops that leaves them vulnerable to widespread, catastrophic destruction from pests, diseases ... Read full review


Preface to the Bison Books Edition
Betting the Farm
BillionDollar Corn
Seed Banks and Seed Morgues
Green Gold
As Alike as Identical Twins
One Planet One Experiment
The Last Harvest
A Way Out?

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About the author (1996)

Paul Raeburn is a journalist and broadcaster, and the author, most recently, of ACQUAINTED WITH THE NIGHT. His stories have appeared in "The Huffington Post," "The New York Times Magazine," "Scientific American," Psychology Today" and other places. He is the author of the popular About Fathers blog for the magazine, "Psychology Today (http: // and the Fathers and Families blog (http: // He is the father of four children. Paul spent seven years as a senior writer and senior editor for science and technology at "Business Week." For many years he was the science editor and chief science correspondent at The Associated Press. From 2008-229, he was the creator, executive producer and host of "Innovations in Medicine" and "The Washington health Report" on XM satellite radio. He has been a journalism fellow at Stanford University, and is currently the organizer of the annual national conference, "New Horizons in Science." Raeburn is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a bachelor's degree in physics.

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