Genetically modified food is in the news and on our plates. And while consumers may not have known they were being used as lab rats, America's uncontrolled experiment with such "inventions" as StarLink corn, with its built-in insecticide, is already well under way. In Eating in the Dark, environmental journalist Kathleen Hart examines the battles being fought in boardrooms, grocery stores, and government agencies over the creation, distribution, and regulation of genetically engineered organisms. The truth is quite disturbing. Companies like Monsanto began releasing modified seeds to farmers in the 1990s, but consumers weren't informed. From baby formula made from engineered soybeans to taco shells that cause dangerous allergy attacks, the stories here are well-researched and frightening. Hart accuses the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of aiding and abetting what she calls a public health "nightmare," and she calls for both intense research and strong legislation as a way of getting the experiment under control. --Therese Littleton
Most Americans eat genetically modified food on a daily basis, but few of us are aware we’re eating something that has been altered. Meanwhile, consumers abroad refuse to buy our engineered crops; their groceries are labeled so that everyone knows if the contents have been modified. What’s going on here? Why does the U.S. government treat engineered foods so differently from the rest of the world?
Eating in the Dark tells the story of how these new foods quietly entered America’s food supply. Kathleen Hart explores biotechnology’s real potential to enhance nutrition and cut farmers’ expenses. She also reveals the process by which American government agencies decided not to label genetically modified food, and not to require biotech companies to perform even basic safety tests on their products. Combining a balanced perspective with a sense of urgency, Eating in the Dark is a captivating and important story account of the science and politics propelling the genetic alteration of our food.