January 10, 2008

Book Review - Seeds for the Future

Seeds for the Future: The Impact of Genetically Modified Crops on the Environment
Jennifer A. Thomson
SB 123.57 .T494 2007

For years, scientists have been genetically modifying agricultural crops. Often, this has been done to increase resistance to pests, improve the nutritional profile, or enhance ripening qualities. Thomson, a microbiologist, examines how and why plants are genetically modified. She evaluates numerous "enhancements" that are made--insect resistance, pesticide tolerance, and decreased water requirements--and discusses the effects on the environment, the consequences for biodiversity, and what happens when genetic manipulations have unintended consequences. She also discusses the safety and ethical issues surrounding genetic modification in plants and suggests how these modifications could be used in the future.