Seeds of Concern - the Genetic Manipulation of Plants. This book explains the differences between cells, genes, chromosomes and genomes, and how genomes can be modified. Its comprehensive glossary will be a boon to all non-scientists. The book contrasts the uncertainty of these new methods against the precision claimed by proponents - especially the large multinational companies that now dominate trade in seeds, and perceive ownership of genes as a way to further increase profits.
While there have been several recent popular books about the applications and implications of gene technology, until Seeds of Concern, The Genetic Manipulation of Plants none has been written by a botanist, and none has dealt so comprehensively with genetically modified plants. Dr David Murray has written a balanced and practical account of a debate that is more of often than not highly polarised and emotionally charged. Written in non-technical language accessible to a lay audience and with a strong Australian focus, this book will be of keen interest to anyone wanting to know more about the GM debate, including the broader environmental and ethical issues.
In Seeds of Concern, Murray answers such important questions as:
How are genetically modified plants produced?
Which breeding goals are worthwhile, and which are not?
Can the escape of transferred genes be controlled?
Why have the first transgenic plants been released without an understanding of the consequences?
How dangerous are bacterial proteins produced in plant foods?
Is anyone monitoring the unexpected effects of gene transfer?
Will genetically modified plants ever be acceptable to organic growers?