Composite Book Review
Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods
Author: Jeffrey M. Smith
Publisher: Yes! Books, www.GeneticRoulette.com; hardcover; 336 pages; $27.95
In his foreword to Genetic Roulette, former UK government environment minister Michael Meacher says, "This is the authentic book on genetic modification that the world has been waiting for. . . . The case presented is absolutely a smoking shotgun that should stop in its tracks any dabbling with GM foods, whether by individual families, food companies, or indeed nations." Best-selling author John Robbins says, "Genetic Roulette is dynamite. It totally explodes the complacency and apathy that has been allowing genetically engineered foods to creep into our food supply." And GMO experts Arpad Pusztai and Susan Bardocz write, "Jeffrey Smith's Genetic Roulette destroys the myth that genetically modified organisms are safe and will give sleepless nights to uncritical supporters of GMOs. . . . It is a real treasure and the most important GMO source book for policy makers, scientists, and the public."
According to Molecules of Emotion author Candace Pert, PhD, Genetic Roulette's author "Jeffrey Smith is the leading world expert in the understanding and communication of the health issues surrounding genetically modified foods." Indeed, his first book Seeds of Deception became the #1 rated and best-selling book on GMOs. Seeds made a huge impact and is credited with influencing legislation and changing the global debate on the subject. Now, in Genetic Roulette, Smith has answered the human health risk question as he calls for an immediate ban on GM product by consumers and governments.
65 dangers at a glance read easily across two-page spreads
Joan Dye Gussow, author of This Organic Life and professor emeritus of Nutrition and Education at Columbia University, says Genetic Roulette is "remarkably thorough, well-written, brilliantly designed, and deeply disturbing." She urges people to, "Read this book, or skim it - a feat the author has enabled with a format that allows for scanning or thorough reading." The format Gussow describes consists of 65 two-page spreads, each dedicated to a different adverse finding or theoretical risk of GM foods. The left side's executive summary offers knowledge at a glance. Flip through the pages in a few minutes and you will be struck by reports of hundreds of people with toxic or allergic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile or dead animals, and countless ways in which GM foods are inherently dangerous and virtually untested.
Read the detailed explanations on the right side, to learn that lab animals fed GM soy had altered sperm cells and embryos, and a five-fold increase in infant mortality, or that genes might transfer from GM corn to turn your intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factoriesfor the long-term. These and other meticulously documented revelations shred the baseless arguments used by the biotech industry to defend their products.
Masterful recipe for decision-making
Cancer Prevention Coalition chairman Samuel Epstein, MD, describes the book as "The most comprehensive, well-documented and highly readable expose on the serious health dangers of GM foods." Meacher says, "What has long been needed is not more polemic, but the facts, the unvarnished detail that provides the evidence on which people can make up their own minds. This book is it." In fact, it presents a masterful recipe for decision-making; the 65 two-page spreads offer a kind of safety checklist - risks and findings that must be responded to. Pediatrician and author Alan Greene of DrGreene.com says, "We ought either to satisfy ourselves with solid scientific answers to the concerns clearly laid out in Genetic Roulette-or we should change the way we eat."
The book sounds the alarm with parents and schools
The book explains why children and newborns are most at risk from potential allergens, toxins, and nutritional problems associated with GM foods. Jordan Rubin, best-selling author of The Maker's Diet, says, "As a health educator and parent of a young child, I will do everything within my power to keep these dangerous genetically modified foods out of the cupboards and refrigerators and off of the kitchen tables of those I care about. The best way I can do that is to strongly recommend the book." Robyn O'Brien, founder of AllergyKids and mother of four, says "The health risks associated with these new foods have the potential to impact every child in America-not just those with food allergies." She says the book is a "must read" for parents. And Dr. Richard Beall, director of the Carolina International School, says, "I urge school administrators to read Genetic Roulette and take preventive action to protect the long-term health of your students."
Genetic Roulette hits mainstream influence and may force GM food bans
Beginning in April 2007, organizations around the world will present Genetic Roulette to government officials as evidence that GM foods are unsafe and need to be banned immediately. The prominence of U.S. Senator Jon Tester's supporting quote on the back cover indicates that Smith is aiming for decision makers at the highest level. Meacher says, "I believe it will inspire leaders in many different arenas to take action."
Officials can't simply use the excuse that their national regulatory agencies ensure GM food safety, because part two of Genetic Roulette shows just the opposite. Government assessments are not competent to even identify most of the potential health problems. Furthermore, part 3 exposes in great detail how GM food producers rig their studies in order to avoid showing problems. And part four dismantles the "feed the world" argument as baseless PR hype.
Frances Moore Lappe, author of Democracy's Edge and Diet for a Small Planet, says thanks to Smith's "tireless investigations, we need wonder no longer why corporations spreading GMOs are so secretive, why theyve spent hundreds of millions to keep us from even knowing which foods contain GMOs. They don't want us to examine the shoddy science, the suppressed evidence, and, most of all, the real health risks that GMOs present."
Meacher writes, "Jeffrey Smith is one of the great campaigners of our age, a relentless pursuer of the truth, a fearless advocate in the corporate world of secret influence, and a ceaseless promoter of the public interest across the world. He is the modern David against the GM Goliath. This book may well provide the slingshot to change the global course of events this century."
"I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it-unless it says organic. Genetic Roulette tells you why you must avoid genetically engineered foods to stay healthy."
-John H. Boyles, MD, ear, nose, and throat, and allergy specialist
"When I worked at Monsanto, I warned both scientists and executives that our GM foods may cause disease, but no one was even willing to listen, let alone investigate the unpredicted side effects. For them, it was all about profit. Now our whole population is threatened by the serious dangers described in Genetic Roulette."
Kirk J. Azevedo, DC
Genetic Roulette will be available starting in April 2007. Pre-orders placed in March at www.GeneticRoulette.com will have free shipping. The official publication of the book will take place in June, in conjunction with a major consumer education campaign to be announced shortly.
Spilling the Beans is a monthly column available at www.responsibletechnology.org. The website also offers eater-friendly tips for avoiding GMOs at home and in restaurants.
Permission is granted to publishers and webmasters to reproduce issues of Spilling the Beans in whole or in part. Just email us at [email protected] to let us know who you are and what your circulation is, so we can keep track.
The Institute for Responsible Technology is working to end the genetic engineering of our food supply and the outdoor release of GM crops. We warmly welcome your donations and support.
Go to www.responsibletechnology.org or click here if you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation. Click here if you would like to become a member of the Institute for Responsible Technology. Membership to the Institute for Responsible Technology costs $25 per year. New members receive The GMO Trilogy, a three-disc set produced by Jeffrey Smith (see www.GMOTrilogy.com).
© copyright Jeffrey M. Smith 2007
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