Genetically modified crops – are they monsters of nature or could they provide answers to some of our most pressing environmental concerns? Will they create superweeds, run amock and change life as we know it, or are these fears greatly exaggerated?
Internationally respected microbiologist Jennifer Thomson takes us through the issues and concerns surrounding the development of genetically modified crops and their impacts on the environment. She explains how such crops are developed and assessed and discusses the likelihood of negative effects on biodiversity, pollen spread, and organic farming. GM crops may have tremendous potential for addressing some of the world’s environmental problems and protecting the planet, particularly in developing countries – in fact we could face more harm if some of these technologies are not adopted.
Up to date ecological discussion
International focus with some third world food examples
High profile international author who has much credibility as a food research and molecular genetics expert
Classical plant breeding and GM technology
Insect resistant crops
Herbicide tolerant crops
Virus resistant and drought tolerant crops
Effects on biodiversity
Crops behaving badly: pollen spread, its prevention and co-existence of GM crops with conventional varieties
When plants don’t come from their parents - horizontal gene transfer
Biosafety regulatory, trade and legal issues
Economists and political activists, farmers, agriculturalists, environmentalists and school teachers.
"Thomson's view through the magnifying glass is rewarding. Readers will find many aspects of GM crops identified and discussed in an open, balanced manner. Social, economic and safety concerns are addressed directly and clearly. It is reqarding to see a competant author put forward clear messages in a concise manner." Joel I Cohen (Nature Biotechnology, Vol. 25, No. 7, July 2007)
"A superb book… Written with such clarity that it is accessible to all and I welcome the non-hysterical approach adopted by the author." Gerry Saddler (Society for General Microbiology Quarterly, July 2007)
Jennifer Thomson is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has run laboratories at the forefront of GM research in South Africa since 1978. Her current research interest is the development of maize resistant to the African maize streak virus and tolerant to drought. She is a world-renowned leader in the field of GM crops and has been a popular speaker at conferences on the topic throughout the world. She is on the board of a number of biotechnology organisations including the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), based in Nairobi, of which she is the board Chair.