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Jeffrey Smith’s Genetic Roulette is an impressive hardback book collating all the available evidence on the health risks of genetically modified organisms that have been introduced as ‘food additives’ into the human and animal food chain.

genetic roulette imageDivided into three easy to navigate sections, and following his highly acclaimed first book Seeds of Deception, Genetic Roulette painstakingly uncovers the headlines to reveal the bigger picture on GM crops with technical details for those who want them.

Section one explores the range of evidence of adverse reactions in humans and animals exposed to GM crops.  For example, rats fed Monsanto’s MON863 corn showed significant changes in blood cells, livers and kidneys, workers picking GM cotton suffered severe allergies, twelve cows fed Syngenta’s corn died, and GM peas caused an inflammatory response in mice causing commercialization of the product to be halted.   

In section two, we learn that food regulators around the world have been hijacked by the biotechnology industry.  For instance, in the US, the FDA has allowed biotech companies make all the important decisions on how safe the new GM proteins are to speed them market. The result is that over 75% of processed foods contain unlabelled and untested foods such as GM soy is putting people, especially children, at risk of allergic reactions.

In section three, we discover that the safety assessments by the biotech companies are not competent to test for the health problems presented in the previous sections.  This is backed up by the testimonies of a growing number of high profile scientists who have been asked to assess the safety data on GM crops and found it lacking.

There is also the question of herbicide-tolerant GM crops, which have not only increased the amount of herbicides used by 383 million pounds over its first thirteen years of use (1996-2008) according to the US Department of Agriculture’s data, but alters the nutrient content of GM food making it less nutritious, and promotes the toxic effect of these chemicals on humans, animals and their offspring.

However, this important book is more than the litany of mistakes made by Governments and regulators in blindly approving potentially toxic foods. Genetic Roulette is a call to everyone to get informed about GM food and to learn how to avoid eating it. A titular website http://www.geneticroulette.com/ provides an ongoing information service where people can gather data or report adverse reactions to GMO’s and stay up to date with the risks.


Jeffrey M Smith (2007) Genetic Roulette, the Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.  Yes! Books ISBN 978-0-9729665-2-8

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