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GMO Myths and Truths

A Citizen’s Guide to the Evidence on the Safety and Efficacy of Genetically Modified Crops and Foods, 3rd Edition

It is often claimed that the case against genetically modified (GM) crops and foods is based on emotion, not science, and that to oppose GM crop and food technology is to be anti-science. It is also claimed that GM crops offer higher yields and better nutrition, that they are safe for health and the environment, that they reduce agrochemical use, and that they are needed to feed the world’s growing population. This book, co-authored by two genetic engineers and a writer/researcher, exposes these claims as false, using scientific and other documented evidence. GMO Myths and Truths summarizes the facts on the safety and efficacy of genetically modified (GM) crops and foods in terms that are accessible to the non-scientist but still relevant to scientists, policymakers and educators. The evidence presented points to many hazards, risks, and limitations of genetic engineering technology. These include harms found in animal feeding and ecological studies, which in turn indicate risks to health and the environment posed by GM crops and foods.

The layout of the book enables those readers with limited time to read the chapter summaries, while providing more detail and full references for those who require them. At 164 pages of paperback size, this new condensed version is shorter and more accessible than the authors’ 330-page report by the same name, which has been downloaded over half a million times.

The book shows that conventional breeding continues to outstrip GM in developing crops that deliver high yields, better nutrition, and tolerance to extreme weather conditions and poor soils. In agreement with over 400 international experts who co-authored a UN and World Bank-sponsored report on the future of farming, the authors conclude that modern agroecology, rather than GM, is the best path for feeding the world’s current and future populations in a safe and sustainable way.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

“Many who defend the use of GMO crops and foods claim that there is no evidence that any GMO is harmful to health or the environment. But this is wrong. There is plenty of sound empirical evidence of such harm, presented by qualified scientists in peer-reviewed literature. This book is a succinct summary and documentation of that evidence.”--Richard Jennings, PhD, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, UK

GMO Myths and Truths is a very important contribution to the GMO debate. Written in a clear and concise style, it is an invaluable reference for those wanting to learn more about the arguments of proponents and those critical of the technology. I found it of great value in my own efforts to better understand the issue. I hope this information will be widely available to students and to the general public.”--Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, and UN Messenger of Peace

“Using peer-reviewed studies and other documented evidence, GMO Myths and Truths deconstructs the false and misleading claims that are frequently made about the safety and efficacy of GM crops and foods. The book shows that far from being necessary to feed the world, GM crops are a risky distraction from the real causes of hunger. What is more, there is no reason to take this risk, since GM crops do not consistently raise yields, reduce pesticide use, or provide more nutritious food. GM crops and foods have not been shown to be safe to eat – and both animal feeding studies and non-animal laboratory experiments indicate that some GM foods, as well as most of the chemicals required to produce them, are toxic. Fortunately, the book shows that there are effective and sustainable alternatives to GM that can ensure a safe and plentiful food supply for current and future populations. GMO Myths and Truths is an invaluable and easy-to-read resource for everyone, including students, scientists, and members of the general public.”--David Schubert, PhD, Professor and Director, Cellular Neurobiology, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California, USA

“Genetic engineering and its applications in agriculture are complex topics, even for scientists that are engaged with them. The range of techniques is large, as is the range of their implications for different groups in society,  from the farmer, through to the citizen, to the corporation. It is difficult sometimes to have the latest information at the end of the fingertips and to understand the difference in how the same evidence is framed depending on the interests behind the science. GMO Myths and Truths is a great resource for me. It is written in a form that makes it readable to non-experts without losing value for the expert looking for the latest references. It has become one of my standard ‘go-to’ reviews when I need to refresh myself on the history, practice, or technical details in this fast moving, demanding and important area.”--Jack Heinemann, PhD, Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

GMO Myths and Truths is a much needed objective evaluation to separate propaganda and failed promises from the science of this critical topic.”--Don M. Huber, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University

“The role of provider of children’s health care has become an onerous job in this modern era. The rapid demise of children’s health where more children are chronically sick than well is statistically demonstrated in the US. The common denominator to all children’s health is their food. We, as pediatricians, have had to become geneticists and toxicologists to understand the impact of our changing food system in our modern agroenvironment and its effect on our children’s well-being without support from our traditional medical literary sources. Drs Antoniou and Fagan and Claire Robinson have provided a concise reference on the topic of GM foods and their impact that will educate the physician, farmer, citizen and policymaker. From this easily-readable third edition, a busy practitioner is able to extract the necessary information on the state of GM science to be utilized in their medical practice. Thoroughly sourced, this book is a must-read to understand the effects of GM food, Bt toxin, and pesticides, including their impacts on health. Its value is undeniable. It has simplified a very complex science without losing its scientific profundity.”--Michelle Perro, MD, Institute for Health and Healing, Greenbrae, California, USA

“To all those concerned citizens, policymakers, journalists, researchers and students who have missed a reliable, unbiased, comprehensive and readable account of plant genetic engineering and its unpredictable consequences: Here it is, and it is a splendid piece of work!”--Terje Traavik, PhD, Professor of Virology and Professor Emeritus of Gene Ecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway; and Scientific Director Emeritus, Gen.k – Centre for Biosafety, Norway

“The global GM commercial and political juggernaut has already corrupted science by promoting a propaganda campaign to misinform the world that ‘science’ has revealed the unqualified safety of GM crops and foods, with no further question. This vitally important book documents the wide-ranging and well-grounded science that demolishes this political deception – a deception that has traduced the good name of science. The book also shows the systematic double standards exercised by those promoting GM, whereby studies claiming to show GM is safe are accepted with lower standards of scientific rigour than those showing evidence of harm and the need for further research. This book is essential reading for all involved, anywhere, with GM and agrichemicals risk and policy issues.”--Brian Wynne, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Science Studies and founding Research Director of the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC); and former Associate Director of the UK ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Cesagen, Lancaster University, UK

GMO Myths and Truths is unquestionably the go-to source for up-to-date, scientifically rigorous evidence bearing on genetic modification. As a scientist, I applaud not simply the heavy reliance on refereed literature, but also the attention to organization and interpretation, which makes technical information accessible to the non-specialist.”--E. Ann Clark, PhD, Associate Professor (retired), Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Canada

GMO Myths and Truths is a scientifically correct, honest, and accessible discussion of molecular biotechnology that demonstrates why corporate claims about the inherent safety of GMOs and their centrality in reducing world hunger are utter nonsense.”--Sheldon Krimsky, PhD, Professor, Tufts University, USA; co-editor, The GMO Deception

“The condensed and updated GMO Myths and Truths is a thoroughly researched, evidence-based synthesis of the latest information regarding the environmental and health consequences of genetically-modified crops. Updated and adapted from the well-received GMO Myths and Truths, it refutes common myths surrounding the alleged safety and effectiveness of GMOs and explains, in highly readable fashion, the scientific truths regarding this risky technology. I have found it valuable in my teaching and policy work, and highly recommend it for scientists, policymakers, educators, students, and indeed all individuals concerned about the corporate commodification of the world’s food supply.”--Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Community Health, Portland State University; Member, Social Justice Committee, Physicians for Social Responsibility; Member, Board of Advisors, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility; Senior Physician, Internal Medicine, Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center, USA

“This is an excellent and urgently needed scientific critique of GM crops.”--Carlo Leifert, Professor for Ecological Agriculture, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

GMO Myths and Truths provides an unprecedented overview of the current situation regarding genetically modified food production and consumption. Topics covered include the genetic engineering process, the safety questions around GM foods, and agronomic and environmental problems during GM crop cultivation, including weed and pest resistance and the consequences of contamination. This book will prove extremely useful for scientists, policymakers and students. In addition, it will inform members of the public, activists, farmers, and consumers.”--Mohamed Habib, PhD, Full Professor, UNICAMP, Brazil

GMO Myths and Truths is a comprehensive study of the myths and facts surrounding genetically modified foods and crops. It illuminates aspects of the topic that are commonly misunderstood. The issues are systematically explained and analyzed in simple language, which is nonetheless precise. I would recommend this book to postgraduate students of genetics as well as interested members of the public. I am confident that it will prove a success worldwide and within Brazil.”--Nagib Nassar, PhD (Genetics); Professor Emeritus, University of Brasilia, Brazil

“An opt-out clause used by the members of many governments is that they ‘will make no decisions unless backed by sound scientific evidence’. This blind faith in the honesty and integrity of all scientists has proved, repeatedly, to be based on false assumptions. Politicians often fail to recognize that scientists and manufacturers are, like the rest of us, human. They can fall prey to the same ambitions, to financial greed, to a hunger for prestige, and to manipulating their findings in order to satisfy these cravings, just like some in other walks of life. Politicians like black-and-white – there can be no shades of grey or room for doubt, and they leave little scope for scientists to admit that they don’t know, so those with integrity are caught in a cleft stick. Do they speak out and risk being pilloried by those in power, or do they quietly keep their heads down?

“Nowhere is the controversy greater than in the scientific research upon which the reputed safety of genetically modified organisms is founded. We should be extremely grateful to the authors of GMO Myths and Truths for having the courage to review the research and to tell the world of their findings.”--Margaret, Countess of Mar, independent cross-bench member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament and an elected hereditary peer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claire Robinson

Claire Robinson, MPhil, is managing editor at GMWatch, a public news and information service on issues relating to genetic modification.

Michael Antoniou

Michael Antoniou, PhD is a Reader in Molecular Genetics and Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College London School of Medicine, UK. He has over 30 years’ experience of using genetic engineering in the investigation of gene organization and control, with over 50 peer-reviewed publications, and holds inventor status on gene expression biotechnology patents. His discoveries are being used for the production of research, diagnostic and therapeutic products, and safe and efficacious human somatic gene therapy for genetic disorders.

John Fagan

John Fagan, PhD was an early voice in the scientific debate on GM food. Today, as a director of Earth Open Source, Dr Fagan works to advance biosafety and sustainable agriculture. Dr Fagan pioneered genetic testing methods for GMOs, and founded and later sold a leading company in this field. Earlier, he researched molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis at the US National Institutes of Health and in academia. He earned a PhD in biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology from Cornell University.

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Dr. Mercola and Claire Robinson on GMO Truths and Myths

Natural health expert and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews the Editor of GM Watch, Claire Robinson, about GMO myths and truths.

GMO Myths and Truths

Pages:164 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Earth Open Source
Paperback: 9780993436703
Pub. Date December 15, 2015
eBook: 9780993436710
Pub. Date December 15, 2015

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 164 pages, $17.95

eBook, 164 pages, $17.95