GENETIC ENGINEERING: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE?
by Mae-Wan Ho*
IS genetic engineering producing miracle crops to feed the hungry? Does it offer greener agriculture to protect the environment and provide magic cures for diseases? Or will those promises pale beside the perils lurking in the large-scale commercialization of an untried, inadequately researched technology that can get horribly out of control?
Current public debates over genetic engineering biotechnology either ignore the science on grounds that it is too difficult, or else the science is taken for granted as something beyond reproach, so only its applications need to be scrutinized.
This book is an in-depth, yet accessible, exposition of the science behind genetic engineering biotechnology, written by a scientist who has carried out research in genetics and taught the subject for many years. It also examines the social and political implications of the intimate involvement of genetic engineering science with big corporate business. It points to serious hazards that are largely ignored by practitioners and regulators alike.
The author calls for a halt to commercialization, and for an independent public enquiry into the hazards involved, taking into account the most comprehensive scientific findings as well as the socioeconomic and ethical implications.
* Dr Mae-Wan Ho is a well-known and respected British scientist, Reader in Biology at the Open University, UK and a Fellow of the US National Genetics Foundation. Since 1994, she has been scientific adviser to the Third World Network and other public interest organizations on genetic engineering biotechnology and biosafety. She has debated the issues at the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Parliament, and many conferences all over the world. She is also the prolific author of over 150 works in several disciplines, a popular public lecturer and a frequent contributor to radio and TV in the UK and elsewhere.
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