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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