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Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Smith
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Eating genetically modified food is gambling with every bite.

The biotech industry's claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe is shattered in this groundbreaking book. Sixty-five health risks of the foods that Americans eat every day are presented in easy-to-read two-page spreads. The left page is designed for the quick scanning reader; it includes bullets, illustrations, and quotes. The right side offers fully referenced text, describing both research studies and theoretical risks. The second half of Genetic Roulette shows how safety assessments on GM crops are not competent to identify the health problems presented in the first half. It also exposes how industry research is rigged to avoid finding problems.

This book, prepared in with input by more than 30 scientists, is for anyone wanting to understand GM technology, to learn how to protect themselves, or to share their concerns with others. It is presented in the clear, accessible style that made Jeffrey Smith's Seeds of Deception the world's best-selling book on genetically engineered foods. As the world's most complete reference on the health risks of GM foods, Genetic Roulette is also ideal for schools and libraries.

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Product Description


"The most comprehensive, well-documented, and highly readable expose on the serious health dangers of GM foods." --Samuel S. Epstein, MD, professor emeritus of Environmental Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition

About the Author

Jeffrey M. Smith is the director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and is one of the world's leading advocates against GM foods. His book Seeds of Deception is rated the number one book on the subject and has had a substantial influence on public perception and even legislation.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4321 KB
  • Print Length: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Yes! Books; 4th edition edition (7 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #557,595 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you know what you are really eating? 2 Feb. 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a highly informative text book.It is not in any way a "reading" book but once you get used to the style of the text and layout the underlying story is, indeed, fascinating. There is a lot of extensively referenced information from the global scientific community which lends much credibility to Mr Smith's arguments. The book lays out the how-its-all-done facts from the technical aspects of genetic modification to the political manouvering and scientific-funding-by big-business agenda. Who pulls the strings behind the scenes and how issues can be correctly, but often misleadingly, presented by biased interests.

Genetic Roulette is a reference book you dip into from time to time. Some of the scientific information is highly technical and if you are not a scientist it can take some time to absorb but it is not too difficult to do so. The principles are generally pretty clear.

If you are interested in the facts behind the media's portrayal of GM food production then this is certainly worth a read but do be warned - it is not a cosy read but more of an academic (although very pertinent and understandable) study for any purchaser. I actually enjoyed it once I got used to the semi-lecture style and found the information it generated very useful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real shocker 20 July 2010
A "must read" book, extremely well written with concise headings and grouping of themes. It opens up the theme of GM foods, and disperses the clouds of Public Relations with which Governments and other interested parties have flooded the market to convince consumers in an Orwellian manner that these manipulated products are made for their own good.

I call it a real shocker because it is incredible, with all the evidence that is piling up against GM foods, and the potential of a health disaster, that Authorities around the globe glibly approve and recommend new varieties without blinking an eye.

A brilliant piece of work that should be on the curriculum of every school. Thank you, Jeffrey Smith!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best GM Book Ever 22 Oct. 2009
Genetic Roulette is an excellent, authoritative book which brings together all the information we have to date on genetically modified crops and food. It is set out very clearly so that it is suitable for quick reading or as a very comprehensive reference book. The first part documents the health risks from GM foods, part 2 shows how regulation of of GM foods is inadequate to protect health and the third part shows the shortcoming of testing by industries. The 4th and final part shows the flaws in arguments used to justify GM crops. This book should be read by all our political representatives and anyone who cares about our health, our wildlife, our environment, our agriculture and the future of our planet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Playing Russian Roulette with Nature 18 Dec. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jeffrey Smith is an expert on this subject (I've watched his video which overviews his written work) and he is the leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices. He authored the world's bestselling book on the health dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The author has counseled leaders from every continent, campaigned to end the use of genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH or rbST), and influenced the first state laws in the United States regulating GMOs. Former US National Institutes of Health scientist Candace Pert (whose own work I like) describes the author as "the leading world expert in the understanding and communication of the health issues surrounding genetically modified foods."

So I reckon when he says something, we need to listen and equally importantly, trust what he says is true.

His first book Seeds of Deception combines storytelling and investigative reporting. This second book on the subject, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods adds more information and fleshes out his argument for getting involved at grass roots level in our food production. It is a big book in terms of both its size and the technical info it offers the reader. Sure, its a technical book in parts, but it should be accessible to anyone who wants to grasp the biology of how we are trying to improve the natural cycle of foods we need to grow to live well.

Eating GMO foods has risks, lots of them. Smith includes 65 health dangers. These link GMOs in our food to toxic, allergic reactions, and infertility. How do we know this? Science uses animal studies to test ideas, so damage to virtually every internal organ studied in lab animals has been reported.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
150 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last word on GM risks 8 Jun. 2007
By Ms. C. J. Robinson - Published on
What's your response when someone comes out with a statement they've picked up from somewhere to the effect that "There's no evidence that GM food is harmful"?

If you have time and energy, perhaps you manage to scrabble together bits and pieces from memory, the web, or an article. But considering the number of calls that the business of living places on us, perhaps you just shrug your shoulders and muse that the world is going to hell in a handbasket of Bush, Blair, and Monsanto's making and there's nothing you can do about it.

Well, now there is. Just point them in the direction of the latest book from Jeffrey Smith, Genetic Roulette.

A must-read for policy-makers, educators, and journalists, it's also invaluable for anyone who wants to sharpen their weaponry in the battle against the imposition of GM foods. And judging by emails I've received from students asking about the risks of GM food, every educational institution and public library needs a copy.

Those who enjoyed Smith's previous book, Seeds of Deception, should be warned that this isn't the same sort of read. Seeds laid out the fraud of GM through its stories: the honest scientists who were gagged, threatened, and persecuted; the consumers who got sick and died from eating a supplement produced with GM bacteria, only to have their suffering covered up by a government protecting industry interests. Genetic Roulette is not a book of stories, but an easy-to-use reference book of scientific and other documented findings on the risks of GM foods.

Contrary to what the industry would have us believe, a considerable number of findings show GM causes harm, and they are clearly presented in this book. Given the worrying lack of substantial published research, Smith also draws upon unpublished studies, case studies, medical reports, media reports, and eyewitness accounts. Unlike the notorious pronouncements of biotech industry supporters, statements of opinion are never misrepresented as scientific fact. The author has gone to great lengths to maintain accuracy, having each section of the book checked by at least three scientists.

Conspicuous by their absence are follow-up studies to those that show harm from GM foods. The book details tactics that industry uses to bury inconvenient research, including ignoring it, attempting to discredit the research or its authors, and funding competing studies so poorly designed that no meaningful findings can be extracted. If all else fails, industry-aligned researchers discount deaths of experimental animals or claim that statistically significant results have, magically, no significance at all.

The layout of the book is an exemplar of clarity and should serve as the model for any reference book. It is designed to make the material accessible to three levels of reader: scanners, casual readers, and those who want detail. Each double-page spread is devoted to a problem with GM foods, with the left-hand page having the topic heading, a quote by an expert, and a few summarizing bullet points; the right-hand page gives technical detail. You don't need a science background to understand it. While the book is not bedtime reading, terms are defined and the boggle factor is kept low. The table of contents enables the reader to scan the problems with GM food and quickly to access the evidence on each.

Smith has to be the best science communicator alive today, and this book stands as the final word on GM health risks. It's the definitive answer to those who don't know, those who don't want to know, and those who know but don't want anyone else to know.
57 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference on GM foods 18 Sept. 2007
By Christine H. Farlow - Published on
Genetic Roulette is well organized, well researched and well documented. It's layout makes it easy to pick out the main points of a topic or get all the details. It makes a handy reference and a good resource for plowing through all the specifics.

Jeffrey Smith is a stickler for accuracy. When I contacted him to use some excerpts from his books in my new editon of FOOD ADDITIVES: A Shopper's Guide..., it was very clear to me that he wanted to make sure that I was absolutely accurate with my facts. He demonstrated to me, his commitment to complete and total accuracy and publishing only factual information.

If you want to know the truth about genetically engineered food, I highly recommend this book.
34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, if just for the references alone! 16 Aug. 2009
By Brian - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent companion to The Gmo Trilogy, for readers who wish to go into greater depth. The book explores possible medical risks associated with eating genetically modified foods, and comprises 1-2 page abstracts and essays by researchers. There are a lot more hypotheses than actual conclusions here, so none of these works have reached the stage of becoming peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. Skeptics may attach whatever significance they wish to that fact, but the references to each article are published, verifiable, and legitimate. In fact, if the dangers of GMO foods is a topic of interest to you, this book is a worthwhile purchase for the references alone! The articles are all of a scientific nature, and do not address social, political, or economic issues.

One recurring theme which comes up in these pages is the idea of drug resistance transmitted from ingested foods to intestinal flora. A common trait of many genetically modified plants is selective pesticide resistance. The desired crop can then be sprayed with these pesticides. It was previously believed that stomach acid would break down the plasmids which confer pesticide resistance, but that has been shown to be incorrect. Intact plasmids have been recovered from intestinal washings. There is prescedent to hypothesize that these plasmids could be transferred to gut flora, and under the right conditions, could cause a multidrug-resistant intestinal infection.

I don't have the expertise to judge the danger this may represent (maybe nobody does), but I would be interested in comments from anybody scientifically trained in these fields
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genetic Roulette 24 Sept. 2011
By Noel Phares - Published on
Every single one of the 1-star raters on this title and author fail 100% to discuss the real issues here and instead rant against the quality of the author's science and documentation. There are real and potentially huge issues w/ GMO that warrant EXTREME CAUTION--especially in the context of what GMO really purports to solve. When you add up what GMO provides versus the harm already known to stem from GMO combined w/ yet to be discovered horrors the only sane approach is EXTREME CAUTION. Go explore how glyphosphate affects nutrient absorption and content in vegetable plant species. America: wise up like Europe has done a decade ago and DEMAND LABELING for GMO on all food products sold in the US. The author is empassioned about a very much under-the-radar hijacking of all sensibility in how GMO foods are entering the food supply uncontested by an FDA that doesn't demand testing in any meaningful way. I highly recommend the work of Jeffery Smith and am thankful he is taking this message forward at the grassroots level. And this doesn't even get into the nature of products employing "Roundup Ready" technology: this way you can shower the crops and soil w/ Roundup, and guess what, you get to eat it now.
35 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GENETIC ROULETTE is a unique reference not to be missed. 6 Aug. 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
GENETIC ROULETTE: THE DOCUMENTED HEALTH RISKS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS is a recommended pick for college-level health libraries: it covers everything from genetic transfer issues and risks for children and newborns to safety-related assumptions that have been proven wrong, signs of toxic reactions, and more. Packed with charts, FDA review information, details on regulatory issues and industry studies, and overall health concerns, GENETIC ROULETTE is a unique reference not to be missed.
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