Media Releases

New book challenges the local food movement

October 27, 2011

University of Toronto Professor examines the agro-technology debate

TORONTO, ON – Is the local food move­ment sus­tain­able? Is genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied food harm­ful to human health? Should devel­op­ing nations use agro-tech­nol­o­gy? A time­ly new book by Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Pro­fes­sor R. Paul Thomp­son tack­les these chal­leng­ing ques­tions.

Inci­sive and provoca­tive, Agro-Tech­nol­o­gy is an impor­tant guide to a con­tentious issue that has momen­tous impli­ca­tions on the world’s health and envi­ron­ment. The book pro­vides not only an acces­si­ble expla­na­tion of the sci­en­tif­ic back­ground of genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied organ­isms, but also ana­lyzes ide­o­log­i­cal objec­tions and dis­cuss­es legal and eth­i­cal con­cerns.

Thomp­son iden­ti­fies the harms and ben­e­fits of agro-tech­nol­o­gy, ana­lyz­ing and man­ag­ing its risks. His book also exam­ines the impli­ca­tions of the agro-tech­nol­o­gy debate on devel­op­ing nations, par­tic­u­lar­ly in sub-Saha­ran Africa.

“A world of local pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion is a pre­car­i­ous world, one that actu­al­ly looks a lot like agri­cul­ture in low- and mid­dle-income nations in Africa today and agri­cul­ture in Europe 300 years ago,” says Thomp­son. “A healthy glob­al agri­cul­tur­al mar­ket­place is con­sis­tent with, indeed may ben­e­fit from, some lev­el of local con­sump­tion, but eat­ing local­ly can­not be the glob­al norm with­out court­ing dis­as­ter.”

Thomp­son is a Pro­fes­sor at the Insti­tute for the His­to­ry and Phi­los­o­phy of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy and the Depart­ment of Ecol­o­gy and Evo­lu­tion­ary Biol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.


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