Genescapes: The Ecology of Genetic Engineering

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Zed Books, May 3, 2002 - Nature - 211 pages
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Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being released into the environment on a massive scale. By the year 2000 there were 44 million hectares of transgenic crops worldwide. Transgenic micro-organisms, trees and fish are also being released into the environment. Has sufficient attention been paid to the environmental costs?This book explains the principles of ecology that provide a framework for assessing the environmental impacts of GMOs and describes the ecological risks associated with a wide variety of transgenic organisms. The cultivation of transgenic crops, for instance, has caused genetic contamination in organic and other non-transgenic crops. Non-target species, agricultural diversity and the rights of small farmers are also coming under threat. Stephen Nottingham argues that much more precaution is required when releasing GMOs into the environment.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The principles of ecology
8
Microorganisms
19
Transgenic crops
33
Invasion
54
Geneticpollution
62
Impact on nontarget species
87
Engineering solutions?
102
Trees
121
Assessing ecological risk
141
The precautionary principle
173
Bibliography
185
Index
205
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About the author (2002)

Dr. Stephen Nottingham is a biologist and writer. He has a doctorate in the field of agricultural entomology, and a decade of experience in research groups, both in the UK and the USA. He has contributed numerous articles to scientific journals, based on work aimed at developing novel and environmentally-friendly crop protection methods. His previous books include Eat Your Genes: How Genetically Modified Food is Entering Our Diet (1998), also published by Zed Books.

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