Book Review: Story of genetically engineered crops is an eye-opener

"Altered Genes, Twisted Truth" (Clear River Press) by Steven M. Druker

Jane Goodall calls Steven Druker's book, "Altered Genes, Twisted Truth," "one of the most important books of the last 50 years," and urges those who care about life on earth to read it. Several well-known scientists also validate its content, calling it "well reasoned and scientifically solid." And I can attest to the fact that it is also, for the most part, as compelling as a true crime page-turner, despite its density of fact and scientific explanation.

I had never known just what to think about genetically engineered foods - except that I was very uncomfortable with the idea, although I had no real basis for my feeling, having heard report after report come out saying that GE foods were every bit as safe and nourishing as the natural foods they imitated - and that they were the answer to feeding our overpopulated planet. They would boost crop yields and reduce the need for the synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that are harming the land. Druker's book shows how not true this turns out to be. GE foods, it seems, have caused an increase in herbicides, induced the development of herbicide resistant weeds, which led instead to the use of harsher yet herbicides.

Even more disturbing is GE's role in the development of l-tryptophan and the epidemic that killed dozens of people and sickened thousands. More disturbing yet is the fact that many eminent experts attempted to issue cautions about use of GEs. Druker presents evidence that the industry has suppressed evidence and that the U.S. FDA has covered up extensive warnings by their own scientists. GE foods, according to Druker, gained entry to the market by fraud that continues today. "The massive enterprise to reconfigure the genetic core of the world's food supply is not based on sound science," says Druker, "but on the systematic subversion of science."

This is a book about genetic engineering that we all need to read, so we can decide for ourselves what the truth is. For a start, come listen to Steven Druker at the Peregrine Book Company on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 5:30 p.m. Listen to what he has to say and ask him the hard questions.

- Reviewed by Susan Lang, Peregrine Book Company event coordinator