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The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World (英語) ペーパーバック – 1999/4/5
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In this seminal book, Jeremy Rifkin explores the epic marriage between computer technology and genetic engineering, and the historic transition into the Age of Biotechnology. Already, Rifkin explains, our economy is undergoing a massive shift away from the Industrial Age and into an era in which giant life-science corporations are fashioning a bioindustrial world.Humanity is on the brink of wielding greater control over the shape of life--how we are born; how our food supply is created; the traits our children may have--than has ever been imagined. But with each step into this new era, we must ask ourselves: At what cost?
From what I remember, I enjoyed reading the book. Sorry I don't have much to say as I finished reading this about more than 6 months ago, but it was enjoyable. Just read with an open mind, and all should end well. Would purchase from this seller again!
Among the developments the book suggests may take place are:" Food and fiber may be grown indoors in giant bacteria baths, partially eliminating the farmer and the soil for the first time in history. Animal and human cloning could be commmonplace with ' replication' increasingly replacing ' reproduction'.Millions of people could obtain a genetic readout of themselves , allowing them to gaze into their own biological futures and plan their lives in ways never before possible . Parents may choose to have their parents gestated in artificial wombs outside the human body. Genetic changes could made in human fetuses to correct deadly diseases and disorders and enhance mood, behavior, intelligence, physical traits."
Rifkin is concerned about the consequences of such developments for the global economy and society' He is worried about the kinds of utopian efforts which might come from trying to create perfect human beings. And above all he seems disturbed on the way the 'genetic information' will be owned.
This book raises very great questions, questions which will be more and more relevant in the years to come.
It provides a great deal of thought and insight about these questions. And is certainly a valuable help in giving each one of some better sense of how we can understand the brave new world which is to come.
Now, as if we hadn't poisoned our food chain enough with chemicals, agricorporations launched genetically modified foods. That is what this book is about, and as always, Jeremy Rifkin offers us a fluently written book, with some very good arguments. He wonders in the first place how it even became possible to obtain a patent on a living organism. That is where the corruption began. How can you patent something when you only modify a very small part of the genetic structure ?
Furthermore, no studies were undertaken on the dangers of introducing all those newly modified genes into the environment. Rifkin warns us that we are "on the eve of a new Genesis". Genes of humans, animals and plants are interchanged "as if" it were "natural".
Finally, we have no idea if those foods are dangerous for consumption, since the FDA considers those foods as GRAS ("generally regarded as safe"), because... they are "similar" to normal tomatoes, potatoes, corn, canola, soya, etc... That's strange, isn't it ? On the one hand, genetically modified foods are "patented because they are different", and on the other hand, they are "safe because they are equal". Welcome to the fake democracy we are living in, defending only the interests of big corporations, but never of the general public (well, let's say, never again since the government fired Dr. Harvey Wiley in 1912, the last director of the FDA who really tried to put the general interest before private interests) !
What do we really know on the safety of this Frankenstein-food for consumption ? Dr. Arpad Pusztai discovered that Monsanto-potatoes produced deformations when fed to rats. It really produces a bunch of little Frankenstein's... His reward ? He got fired, under pressure of Monsanto.
Rifkin observes that insurance companies will never insure this kind of technology, since the risks are impossible to foresee. That's also why insurance companies will never insure nuclear plants. Common sense within the capitalist system is only available at insurance companies. In the meantime, the whole planet is used as the playground of this new Genesis, for big corporations to make profits, stealing our future.