lunes, noviembre 15, 2004

Now here's one good book:

Genetic Engineering in Agriculture: The Myths, Environmental Risks, and Alternatives

Those are not your grandfather's potato chips

As debate rages over the costs and benefits of genetically engineered crops, noted agroecologist Miguel Altieri lucidly examines some of the issue's most basic and pressing questions:

  • Are transgenic crops similar to conventionally bred crops?
  • Are transgenic crops safe to eat?
  • Does biotechnology increase yields?
  • Does it reduce pesticide use?
  • What are the costs to American farmers?
  • Will biotechnology benefit poor farmers?
  • Can biotechnology coexist with other forms of agriculture?
  • What are the known and potential environmental and biological risks?
  • What alternatives do we have to genetically modified crops?

In this revised and expanded second edition of Genetic Engineering in Agriculture, Altieri discusses some of the most recent developments in the study of the social, economic, environmental, and biological impacts of transgenic crops, from the controversy over "golden rice" to the terrible implications of genetic contamination of maize in Mexico; from intellectual property issues to allergens to the successes of organic farming and agroecological methods.

Table of Contents: Preface


Chapter One: Biotechnology, World Hunger, and the Welfare of Farmers

  • Hungry People in the Midst of Plenty
  • What about Golden Rice?
  • Does Biotechnology Increase Yields?
  • Does Biotechnology Reduce Pesticide Use?
  • What Are the Costs to American Farmers?
  • Will Biotechnology Benefit Poor Farmers?
  • The Implications of Maize Contamination
  • Can Biotechnology Coexist With Other Forms of Agriculture?
  • What Are the Intellectual Property Rights Issues

Chapter Two: Genetically Modified Crops And Human Health

  • Are Transgenic Crops Similar to Conventionally Bred Crops?
  • How Genetically Modified Plants Are Produced
  • Are Transgenic Crops Safe To Eat? What about Allergens?

Chapter Three: Biotechnology, Agriculture, and the Environment

  • Herbicides Kill More Than Weeds
  • The Creation of "Superweeds"

Chapter Four: The Environmental Risks of Insect-Resistant Crops Resistance

  • Effects on Nontarget Species
  • A Precautionary Tale

Chapter Five: More Sustainable Alternatives to Biotechnology Do Exist

  • What Is Agroecology?
  • Some Success Stories from Latin America
  • Organic Farming
  • What Is Needed?




About the author: Miguel A. Altieri is a world authority on agroecology and sustainable farming. He is an associate professor of insect biology at the University of California, Berkeley and also teaches in the graduate programs of universities in Spain, Italy, and Latin America. He has published 7 books, among them Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture, and more than 200 papers in scientific journals.

ISBN 0-935028-93-5
Price $11.95
October 2004
128 pages


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