John Deben

Food for Thought

Seeds of Science: Why We Got It So Wrong on GMOs

By

Bloomsbury 304pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Mark Lynas has written a rattling good account of his conversion from student activist to respected science writer, from his days ripping up genetically modified organism (GMO) trial plots to now, campaigning for biotechnology to feed the poorest in Africa. This is serious stuff, enlivened by all the elements of a popular thriller, in which powerful business tycoons wrestle with passionate environmentalists – both sides sticking at nothing, convinced they are saving the world.

It’s also a salutary warning for the immediate future at a time when we struggle with false information, Brexit and Donald Trump. Lynas describes the triumph of emotion over science and the failure of some of the richest corporations to win an important battle, even though the facts were on their side. And he charts the ways in which they too got it wrong from the start.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter