Science in Society Archive

Genetic Engineering Dream or Nightmare

A Scientist Challenges the Science

Genetic Engineering Dream or Nightmare - Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
Genetic Engineering - Dream or Nightmare: Turning the Tide on the Brave New World of Bad Science and Big Business

Since its first publication in 1998, Mae-Wan Ho's book , Genetic Engineering: Dream or Nightmare? has been widely acknowledged as providing the most sustained and reasoned challenge to many of the scientific assumptions underlying genetic engineering. It has now been reissued in a second edition that has been up-dated and redesigned to make it more accessible to the general reader

In her wide ranging and comprehensive book, Dr. Ho hits out against transgenic foods, which have the potential to be toxic or allergenic; monoculture - a major cause of malnutrition world-wide; cloning - a scientifically flawed and morally unjustified process; the large-scale release of transgenic organisms, which she describes as 'much worse than nuclear weapons as a means of mass destruction - as genes can replicate indefinitely, spread and recombine'.

The social and political implications of the involvement of genetic engineering science with big corporate business are also examined, with the author calling for a halt to commercialisation and for an independent public enquiry into the hazards involved.

The new edition describes how much progress has been made in public awareness of the dangers in the use of genetically modified food and crops. It will spur the campaign for controls and labelling and do much to challenge governments' support of the multinational industry. This edition will become even more established as the authority in its field.

The Author

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho is a respected British scientist, reader in Biology at the Open University and fellow of the US National Genetics Foundation. She is widely in demand as a lecturer and broadcaster. She has debated issues involved in genetic engineering at the United Nations, the European Parliament and at conferences throughout the world organised by bodies such as the World Bank. Since 1994 she has been scientific advisor to the Third World Network on genetic engineering, biotechnology and bio safety.

Publication date 19 November 1999

Article first published 01/12/99

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