411 pages | 32 B/W Illus.
An increasingly hot-button issue, genetically modified (GM) food is considered by some as the best way to feed the world’s growing population, and by others as an experiment gone wrong on the unsuspecting public. Genetically Modified Foods: Basics, Applications, and Controversy details the basics of biotechnology and its applications in the laboratory and the field. It provides a balanced presentation of the pros and cons of GM foods, examining the arguments of proponents and opponents, and covering regulations governing GM food labeling.
The book includes definitions of biotechnology considered from different perspectives; examines different techniques, including their advantages and shortcomings; and highlights the unintended consequences of traditional and modern GM techniques. The text also includes information on the use of biotechnology to produce nutraceuticals and functional foods and biofuels. Discussions of mandatory, non-mandatory, and global labeling; issues of concern, controversy, and consumer welfare; consumer knowledge and right to choose; and the media’s actual and expected roles in educating and informing the public round out the coverage.
A 360-degree review of GM foods and the issues surrounding them, this book adds to the scientific debate and examines the issues through this lens, giving you information required not only to make an informed decision, but also to be able to discuss your decision with others. It moves this heated debate closer to the day when consumer welfare remains at the heart of the discussion.
"Genetically modified foods are controversial—there are many proponents and opponents of the technology. Much of the public controversy may be ascribed to the newness of the practice, yet about 70 percent of processed food sold in this country already contains genetically modified substances. In this comprehensive tome, Mahgoub, a certified food scientist, Fulbright scholar, and academic, has skillfully structured an examination and overview of the basics of biotechnology and how biotechnology is used to increase plant and animal quality and quantity. The detailed chapters cover genetic procedures at the laboratory level and expand to cover crop variation at the field sites, as well as animal gene manipulation. Unfortunately, the Malthusian premise promises future food shortages as the population increases, and genetic manipulation appears to be the current mechanism to prevent future famines. Labeling of foods is presently a global issue, and one chapter provides a good, impartial discussion of the labeling regulations in various countries. The final chapter addresses public attitudes towards genetically engineered practices. Whether genetic engineering will yield positive or negative results remains a basic question. This superbly organized compendium of the manifold issues kindled by this 21st-century technology and emerging dilemma is a valuable information resource for a wide audience. Summing up: Highly recommended. All library collections."
—R. A. Hoots, Sacramento City College, California, USA, for CHOICE, March 2016
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