With a new Afterword by the author. Recent headlines will tell you that biotechonology companies are knocking down barriers as they race one another to alter the genetic building blocks of the world's food. In the United States, the primary venue for this quiet revolution, the acreage of genetically modified crops has soared from zero to more than 70 million acres since 1996. More than half of America's processed grocery products—from cornflakes to granola bars to diet drinks—contain gene-altered ingredients. But the U.S., unlike Europe and other democratic nations, does not require labeling of modified food. Resistance to this technology is growing fast and furious—sometimes even violent.
Dinner at the New Gene Café lays out the battle lines of the impending collision between a powerful but unproved technology and a gathering resistance from people worried about the safety of genetic change and the power of those who own the technology. Amid the furor, this precocious science is cutting applications of dangerous insecticides, and the next wave of modified crops could deliver more nutritious food—even food that wards off disease. But even before people weigh the potential costs and benefits, this Mendelian magic is thrusting itself on the world in Orwellian fashion.
Journalist Bill Lambrecht has watched the technology from its inception and traveled the world to witness its introduction. Timely and important, Dinner at the New Gene Café examines the growing international struggle over a matter that is vital to everyone on the planet: the very nature of our food, who shall shape our food supply, and who shall own it.