by Belinda Martineau
In the late 1980s, agricultural biotechnology was on the cusp of a revolutionary development: The first genetically modified whole food was being engineered for introduction to the fresh-fruit market. Calgene, a biotech company based in California, eventually accomplished that goal in 1994. The company introduced the Flavr Savrô tomato, which contained a foreign gene for slow-to-rot qualities. Former Calgene scientist Martineau offers a frank recounting of the events leading up to this event and the reasons for its ephemeral commercial success. She also reveals the economic dynamics that ultimately drove Calgene out of business. Because current regulations for biotech food rest on precedents set by Flavr Savrô, Martineau feels duty-bound to provide a fair view of genetically engineered food, she writes. She offers biotechnology critics the data they need to assess this powerful technology.
McGraw, 2001, 269 p., hardcover
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Copyright 2001, Science Service