Pandora's Picnic Basket : The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, UK, Jun 22, 2000 - Science - 288 pages
1 Review
The first book to look at all the issues involved in GM (genetically modified food) technology in a clear and dispassionate way. Alan McHughen surveys the technology that makes GM food possible, assesses the risk of health and environmental dangers and the regulatory and labelling processes in force to protect the consumer. Question and answer boxes and case histories, and the author's easy writing style make this an essential purchase for all those interested in the debate. - ;Are you concerned about fish genes in tomatoes? Worried that brazil nut genes in soybeans can result in potentially lethal allergic reactions? That rapeseed plants bred to be resistant to herbicides could become uncontrollable superweeds? You are not alone. The issue of genetically modified foods has fast become one of the most debated of recent years, with scientists and companies seeking to develop the technology on one side, and consumer groups and environmentalists on the other. However, in spite of the great heat generated by the debate, there is very little real information on the subject, either about the technologies in use or about the regulatory processes established to approve the processes and the products. This book sets out to explain, in clear and direct language, the technologies underlying so-called genetically modified food, and compares them with other "natural" methods of plant breeding and production. The author then looks at the safeguards in place from regulators around the world and asks whether these are sufficient. The question of labelling, held by some to be an obvious way out for concerned consumers, is examined, and the honesty and usefulness of some of these labels addressed. The book then looks at issues of real concern, particularly environmental issues, and ways in which a consumer can seek to avoid GMOs if they so choose. In each chapter, key topics are addressed through question and answer boxes. Real case histories illustrate the development and regulation of GMOs, and by the end of the book the reader will be able to make an informed choice about whether to support or challenge this technology, the products of which are increasingly pervasive. -
 

What people are saying - Write a review

Pandora's picnic basket: the potential and hazards of genetically modified foods

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Fulfilling his promise to teach rather than preach, McHughen opens with a discussion of the basics of genetic modification technology before putting this technology within the larger contexts of food ... Read full review

Contents

table dhôte or á la carte?
1
1 Horsdœeuvres and entrées
7
molecular genetics for everyone
17
3 Home cooking DIY guide to genetic engineering
46
4 Salad days? Conventional and GM foods
61
the offal truth
85
6 The issueswheres the beef?
104
7 Figure it out
129
whos serving my best interests?
170
11 More small fry and red herrings
182
labelling problems
201
13 Waiter cant I have a GMfree meal ?
230
intellectual property and GM technology
243
15 Just desserts
251
some resources
265
Glossary and abbreviations
269

the role of science in regulation
136
the really scary stuff
160

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Alan McHughen is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and Chair of the International Biosafety Advisory Committee of the Genetics Society of Canada. He himself has developed genetically modified plants and therefore has first-hand experience of the technologies
involved and the regulatory processes in all countries.

Bibliographic information