Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Biotechnology and Food for Canadians

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Biotechnology and Food for Canadians

Article excerpt

Alan McHughen, Biotechnology and Food for Canadians (Vancouver and New York: The Fraser Institute and The American Council on Science and Health, 2002), xiv + 69pp. Paper. $19.95. ISBN 0-8897-5191-9.

Concern over the 'threat' posed to human health and biodiversity from biotechnological developments in agriculture and food production has been strongly expressed in the United Kingdom. Consumer groups in particular have protested about the growing advance of genetically-modified (gm) foods, arguing in favour of closer controls upon scientific experiments involving gm crops and greater restriction on imported foods containing gm ingredients. In contrast there has been much less public outcry over biotechnology and gm food in North America, the largest producer of gm food and the home of substantial commercial biotechnology developments.

This booklet, in the Fraser Institute's Risk Controversy Series, largely supports the more positive view of biotechnology emanating from North America. Written by the Professor of Genetics at the University of California, Riverside, and copublished by the American Council on Science and Health, it presents the argument that biotechnology has been applied since the dawn of civilisation to give society more or better food and drugs. In recent times greater understanding of genetics has advanced the technology into new areas of plant breeding, producing gm organisms that can provide even greater benefits whilst reducing or eliminating undesirable features.

The series editor, Laura Jones, tackles concerns over gm foods head-on in her Foreword, attacking 'activists' and the media alike. …

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