Recommended Reading

Thought for Food

Genetically Engineered Food:
Changing the Nature of Nature

by Martin Teitel, Ph.D, and Kimberly A. Wilson,
206 pages, paperback

A gripping account of the environmental, social, political, ethical, legal and economic decisions that affect opinions and decisions about genetic engineering and our food supply. A strong component of this book, now in its second edition, is its encouragement of the public to take a more active role in the decision-making process. With over 100 listing of organizations and websites to contact for further information, you’ll have no excuse after reading this book to continue to swallow the myths of GE food.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

Dinner at the New Gene Cafe:
How Genetic Engineering is Changing What We Eat,
How We Live, and the Global Politics of Food

by Bill Lambrecht, 383 pages, hardcover

Written by an award-winning journalist who specializes in environment and resource issues, this book splices facts into a fascinating read, complete with a great sense of humor. Lambrecht takes the reader on a journey around the globe to meet with the major players in the genetic engineering industry. Lambrecht’s investigate research has unearthed facts and figures you may have never before considered. A phenomenally intriguing book.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

The Ecology of Genetic Engineering
by Stephen Nottingham,
212 pages, paperback

On dense information-filled pages, this book provides an overview of a variety of ecological problems, both those that have come to fruition and those that may yet lurk beneath the surface. Each chapter is prefaced with an introduction to its specific goals, which Nottingham consistently delivers. Although it is an excellent read, this book’s warnings on the long-term effect of the introduction of GE crops may unfortunately be too late.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

Genetically Engineered Food:
A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers

by Ronnie Cummins and Ben Lilliston,
208 pages, paperback

An excellent source of information, covering all the facts about GE foods. Written in bite-size pieces, the book is divided into chapters that cover the common questions and controversies about genetic modification. Cummins and Lilliston provide logical retorts to the arguments that companies and goverment hold forth to support the advancement of genetic engineering. Well-documented and easy to read, this book provides consumers with a comprehensive list of additional resources for further education on this topic.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

The Debate Over Genetically Engineered Food:
Healthy or Harmful?

by Kathiann M. Kowalski,
128 pages, hardcover

This book is aimed at a high school level reader, and provides both sides of the argument. Kowalski explains the origins of DNA experimentation and the thought process behind the current movement to introduce genetic engineering into our food supply. With black and white photos throughout, plus a glossary of terms in the back, this book is a solid introduction to the GE dilemma.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

Seeds of Contention:
World Hunger and the Global Controversy Over GM Crops

by Per Pinstrup-Andersen and Ebbe Schioler,
164 pages, paperback

Can genetic modification of food solve the world hunger problem? The promise of genetic modification being a solution to a world-wide crisis has not been met. The authors of this book believe that the genetic modification issue should not be met with a resounding no, but should be more thoroughly examined and manipulated for its potential benefits, while acknowledging that genetic modification is but one element in a possible solution to the planet’s hunger problem. The authors believe the current outcry against genetic modification is an unfortunate reaction by the world’s industrialized nations. Whether or not you agree with this book, your knowledge of genetic modification will be more complete with a wide variety of viewpoints.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

Against the Grain:
Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food

by Marc Lappe, Ph.D., and Britt Bailey,
164 pages, paperback

The authors of this book provide interesting historical and sociological insight into reactions to genetic engineering from around the world. A thoroughly logical argument that deflates any illusion that you might still have about genetic engineering solving any of the planet’s food supply woes. Against the Grain unveils many of the secrets the biotechnology giants would rather you didn’t know. Despite occasionally slipping into overly-academic language, this book is worth your time.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge

by Vandana Shiva,
152 pages, paperback

The current trend to monoculture in both human and plant species is the antithesis to Shiva’s promotion of diversity. Written by one of the Earth’s most passionate, outspoken and fierce defenders, Biopiracy examines the global threat posed by genetic engineering. The book presents ethical arguments against the patenting of life, particularly as they pertain to Third World countries. Shiva extends her argument to the negative invasive applications of science to human reproduction.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

The Ecological Risks of Engineered Crops
by Jane Rissler and Margaret Mellon,
168 pages, paperback

The introduction of GE crops into the fields is viewed by many as little more than grand-scale experiment with innumerable uncontrolled variables. This book provides an intelligent scientific examination of the specific ramifications of GE plants growing outside the laboratories of the world, without being written in an overly academic style. The authors conclude with concrete recommendations, balancing the need for public safety with the desire to advance the business of agriculture.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

Travels in the Genetically Modified Zone
by Mark L. Winston,
272 pages, hardcover

Mark Winston’s well-balanced book is an attempt to listen impartially to both sides of the GE debate without recourse to the kind of histrionic babbling that has often typified this dispute. He leads us gently through the complex issues surrounding this debate, both scientific and economic.

If the book has a flaw, it is that Winston fails to acknowledge that the balance point ‘between progress and safety, benefit and risk’ that he holds as ideal, may be fundamentally unattainable. As every country explores this technology at its own pace, each will have a unique cultural interpretation of progress, safety, benefit and risk. Winston also fails, moreover, to point out that science is inherently uncontrollable. Agriculture is but the first run on the GM ladder, and may prove to be the watermark for more divisive issues, such as human cloning.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

Fatal Harvest:
The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture

Edited by Andrew Kimbrell,
396 pages, paperback

Very rarely does a book come along for which no praise seems high enough. And when it does, as in the case of Fatal Harvest, one’s vocabulary seems suddenly rife with cliché, as if superlatives long denied are in a sudden rush for expression.

An attack on modern agriculture and a hymn to organic farming, Fatal Harvest is a collection of essays and documentary photographs. It is an encyclopedia of everything that is wrong with the modern world and also a serious attempt to revitalize the land ethic of our forefathers and to swing us back on course. Weighty, thoughtful, disturbing, Fatal Harvest is, without a doubt, one of the environmental movement’s most significant and consequential publications. In an age when eating itself has become a political act, this book’s relevance is incontestable.

Please visit Eco Books if you’d like to purchase this book.

You Make Our Work Possible

You Make Our Work Possible

We don’t have a paywall because, as a nonprofit publication, our mission is to inform, educate and inspire action to protect our living world. Which is why we rely on readers like you for support. If you believe in the work we do, please consider making a tax-deductible year-end donation to our Green Journalism Fund.

Get the Journal in your inbox.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Subscribe Now

Get four issues of the magazine at the discounted rate of $20.