By Jennifer Thomson
Tracing via anecdote and technological know-how the advance of a hotly contended quarter of study, this account expounds the sunrise of genetic engineering within the usa in 1974, during the early levels of its uptake in South Africa, to the present state of affairs, during which nearly eighty percentage of maize in South Africa is genetically changed for drought resistance. The consultant via this background is Jennifer Thomson, whose personal tale of the way she got here to settle on genetic amendment (GM) as a profession and her path-breaking involvement within the improvement of GM examine. She describes the unfold of this expertise into different components of Africa and her enterprise into unknown territory to boost plants immune to drought, bugs, and viruses, a trip during which she got here up opposed to the multinational Monsanto. The ebook describes a amazing own and clinical evolution and appears to a destiny during which staple plants will be grown in tough stipulations by means of smallholder farmers and support Africans in attaining nutrients safety.
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Additional info for Food for Africa: The Life and Work of a Scientist in GM Crops
They organised training courses, which had the added benefit of developing a closely knit body of scientists involved in diverse research fields but united in their use of common techniques. In other parts of the world, especially in countries like the US and, to a lesser extent, in Europe, where biotechnology companies were springing up, regulatory authorities were constantly vigilant in ensuring that no harmful effects accrued to humans, animals or the environment. However, because GM technology was in those days mainly confined to recombinant microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, the concerns were largely around laboratory and production plant safety.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t taste any difference between them and the unmodified tomatoes in the store, but it is my opinion that most tomatoes sold in the US taste of cardboard anyway. Sadly, Calgene was a very small company, inexperienced in the business of growing and shipping tomatoes, so this product did not last. In the UK, the company Zeneca produced a tomato paste using similar technology. It was clearly labelled ‘genetically modified tomatoes’, but as it was cheaper to produce than paste made from conventional tomatoes, it out-sold the latter in Sainsbury’s and Safeway supermarkets.
I was on Florence’s team. The chair, a well-known TV presenter, explained the ground rules. After opening statements the debate would be open to the floor. The side to whom the question had been posed would be given two minutes to reply, thereafter the other side could comment. Florence’s daughter was in the audience and had the following question for Vandana Shiva’s side: ‘The pro-GM side has said what they plan to do to improve crop production in the next five years. ’ At times like this one is grateful for a good chair.