New Internationalist

Seeds of Deception: Exposing corporate and government lies about the safety of genetically modified food

August 2004
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I should admit that I was sceptical about this book. I have long been opposed to the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops because I believe they pose a serious threat to biodiversity, but I’ve tended to dismiss sensationalist statements that scream about ‘Frankenfoods’ endangering human health. Having read Seeds of Deception my views have changed. Jeffrey Smith’s explanations of how GM foods are produced and what happens when the blunt techniques of this infant science go wrong are gripping. Smith has gone to great lengths to write a book that is both factually accurate and easy to read for non-science types. That’s most of us, after all. He has succeeded and, what’s more, he’s produced a genuine page-turner. Smith’s tales of suppressed evidence about GM foods’ potential to cause cancer, allergies and – in the case of one health supplement sold in the US – long-term disability and death are compelling. But equally important are his short-but-sweet notes on the science behind GM foods. Biotechnology firms like to assure us that they know what they’re doing, but Smith shows that they often don’t. Neither do the regulators charged with protecting us. His book boasts the footnotes to prove it.

Erin Gill

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 370 This column was published in the August 2004 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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