Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780743226110 When it comes to genetic engineering, says the author of Those Are Real Bullets, both agribusiness and ecowarriors have got it all wrong. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780743226110 Journalist Pringle (Those Are Real Bullets) believes that there is nothing inherently unsafe about genetically modified (GM) foods and that technology has the potential to relieve hunger and pain for millions of people. However, in this discussion of the aspects of GM foods, he does not hesitate to point out the perils. Aside from potential crop and environmental contamination from lab-altered genes, especially troubling to the author is the degree to which plant biotechnology gives control to a few international conglomerates that own patents to the products and processes. Similar in coverage and style to Daniel Charles's Lords of the Harvest and Bill Lambrecht's Dinner at the New Gene Cafe, Pringle's work also relates very recent developments such as biopharming (growing pharmaceuticals in corn crops) and how several starving African countries refused donations of U.S. corn because it contained genetically modified seeds. This book is intended for a general audience and, as such, is well suited for public libraries and for undergraduate collections in academic libraries.-William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780743226110 Adult/High School-Biotechnology inspires hope in some and horror in others. A complex topic, it invokes many contemporary concerns-third world famine, biodiversity, corporate responsibility, the ethics of corporate ownership of the processes of life itself-and involves a bewildering array of interrelated national and international legal, political, scientific, and economic forces. Public discourse is polarized with scaremongering on one side and arrogance on the other, and it is difficult for the nonspecialist to arrive at an informed opinion. Here, in readable, journalistic fashion, Pringle provides what has been missing: facts and explanations, reasoned argument, and common ground. He reveals many dimensions of several controversies that will be familiar to most readers from media coverage, yet remain poorly understood: Is the monarch butterfly endangered by pesticide-laced corn? Are we throwing away our heritage of biodiversity? Are plant hunters cultural pirates? As the title indicates, Pringle points out the danger of a few large and poorly regulated corporations owning and controlling so much of the world's agriculture and genetic technology, but he doesn't demonize. Rather than simplifying a complicated subject, he accomplishes the more difficult task of presenting the complexities of genetic science, academic politics, corporate strategies, or international treaties in such a clear and interesting manner that readers come to appreciate and understand them. This is a book to satisfy curiosity and engender concern, and any of its chapters would provide an excellent subject for discussion groups.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Choice Copyright American Library Association, used with permission. 9780743226110 Pringle looks at the global war over genetically modified foods, pitting a handful of corporate, "life science" giants against a worldwide network of anticorporate individuals. He takes a middle-of-the-road approach and indicates that benefits of biotech agriculture to food are too valuable to be left to either side of this conflict. Corporations leading the genetically modified side indicate that these products offer a new survival against frost, drought, pest, and plague. Some governments have refused to approve planting of new genetically modified crops, pending further investigation. The ultimate vote of "no confidence" came in 1992 when African nations facing starvation turned away US food aid because it contained genetically modified corn. The book is extremely well written and interesting reading; neither of the combatants are going to be totally satisfied since a middle-of-the-road approach is what Pringle tries to maintain, telling both sides of the story. Notes; acknowledgments; adequate index. For all major libraries so that consumers can become knowledgeable in this battle that will be so important to them. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All levels. H. W. Ockerman Ohio State University
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780743226110 Imagine a world where yellow beans are patented, aromatic basmati rice has lost its fragrance because of genetic tinkering and Canadian farmers are sued by multinational behemoths because pollen from GM (genetically modified) crops somehow got into their fields and fertilized their plants. You don't have to imagine it: this, says Pringle, is the world we live in today. A widely published journalist, Pringle (Those Are Real Bullets) paints a troubling picture of the world's food supply. Multinational corporations are able to patent genes from crops that have been cultivated by farmers for centuries; governments of starving African nations refuse GM food they fear is poisonous; scientists hastily publish research that is blown out of proportion by the news media; and "green" activists vandalize greenhouses and fields where scientists are conducting GM research. Pringle roundly castigates all sides. Scientists, he says, have been remarkably inventive in their endeavors to improve the food we eat, using a gene from daffodils, for example, in growing golden rice with high levels of vitamin A that can help prevent blindness in the undernourished. But large corporations, he asserts, have squandered the public's good will toward GM products as they rushed so-called "Frankenfoods" into stores without adequate testing or disclosure of what makes it different. Pringle gives some glimmer of hope for the future through time-honored methods of cross-pollination, but his main story is of an industry with great potential for feeding starving millions and reducing our reliance on chemical pesticides, but that has instead created a global mess. Agent, Amanda Urban. (June 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved