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The Organisms that Made It All Possible


Thanks for taking the trouble to review my book. Obviously, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and no book can hope to satisfy every reader, but I would like to correct a couple of minor errors in the review.

Firstly, the book does not "defend the use of genetically modified organisms and animal experimentation". I make it clear that I am opposed to genetically modified foods, for reasons I explain in detail, but I quote the views of the scientists I interview, pointing out that they have a financial stake in their research; I leave the reader to make up their own mind. Similarly, I discuss the objections to research on animals, although I personally feel it's sometimes justified.

While you may find my cultural history of corn in bad taste (no other reviewer or reader has complained to date), I do not discuss "corn as an alleged sexual stimulant", but precisely the opposite: the belief that corn could be part of a healthy, sugar-free diet that would reduce sexual desire, not stimulate it.

Finally, the comment about putting aside "the question of whether one can discuss the ethics of scientific research without at least attempting to understand the science behind it" strikes me as a little odd. It implies that I don't discuss science in the book, which is nonsense: there is a huge amount of science in the book and I spent a lot of time getting geneticists to read it and check that it was accurate. Reading the book is no substitute for taking a science degree, of course, which is what I acknowledge, but I really don't think I can be accused of not attempting to understand -- and to explain -- the science.

posted by Jim Endersby
August 12, 2008


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