GMOs Decoded: A Skeptic’s View of Genetically Modified Foods (Food, Health, and the Environment): Sheldon Krimsky, Marion Nestie

The debate over genetically modified organisms: health and safety concerns, environmental impact, and scientific opinions.

Since they were introduced to the market in the late 1990s, GMOs (genetically modified organisms, including genetically modified crops), have been subject to a barrage of criticism. Agriculture has welcomed this new technology, but public opposition has been loud and scientific opinion mixed. In GMOs Decoded, Sheldon Krimsky examines the controversies over GMOs—health and safety concerns, environmental issues, the implications for world hunger, and the scientific consensus (or lack of one). He explores the viewpoints of a range of GMO skeptics, from public advocacy groups and nongovernmental organizations to scientists with differing views on risk and environmental impact.

Krimsky explains the differences between traditional plant breeding and “molecular breeding” through genetic engineering (GE); describes early GMO products, including the infamous Flavr Savr tomato; and discusses herbicide-, disease-, and insect-resistant GE plants. He considers the different American and European approaches to risk assessment, dueling scientific interpretations of plant genetics, and the controversy over labeling GMO products. He analyzes a key 2016 report from the National Academies of Sciences on GMO health effects and considers the controversy over biofortified rice (Golden Rice)—which some saw as a humanitarian project and others as an exercise in public relations.

Do GMO crops hold promise or peril? By offering an accessible review of the risks and benefits of GMO crops, and a guide to the controversies over them, Krimsky helps readers judge for themselves.


Nestle’s foreword describes Krimsky’s work a ‘gift to anyone confused’ about the subject, an apt description for this fair-minded, informative primer.”—Publishers Weekly—


GMOs Decoded is an authoritative and balanced examination of the scientific and policy debates about GMOs, from the perspective of a scholar who prioritizes public and environmental health over short-term corporate interests. Readers will gain a better perspective from which to make informed judgments on controversial issues while encountering surprising facts that challenge their assumptions.

Erik Millstone, Emeritus Professor of Science Policy, University of Sussex

About the Author

Sheldon Krimsky is Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences and Adjunct Professor in Public Health and Community Medicine in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of fourteen books, including Science in the Private Interest and Stem Cell Dialogues.

  • Publisher‏ : ‎ The MIT Press; 1st edition (March 12, 2019)
  • Language‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover‏ : ‎ 216 pages
  • ISBN-10‏ : ‎ 0262039192
  • ISBN-13‏ : ‎ 978-0262039192
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 pounds
  • Dimensions‏ : ‎ 6.31 x 0.76 x 9.31 inches

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