THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO by Marie-Monique Robin

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO

Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of the World’s Food Supply

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a book that won the 2009 Rachel Carson Prize, French journalist and documentary filmmaker Robin rakes agribusiness behemoth Monsanto across the coals.

It’s a wonder, if not a mystery, how the company has managed to sustain business, given its lengthy list of products that have been proven to be deleterious to life on earth: DDT, PCBs, dioxin, Agent Orange, bovine-growth hormones and more. Appalled that Monsanto still reports billions in profits, the author charts its self-serving product testing, its collusion with governmental agencies—“they are prepared to finance a study to improve the straws used for in vitro fertilization of pigs, but not one on the toxic effects of the most widely sold herbicide in the world”—its bullying of whistle-blowers, its veiled threats to advertisers and its thuggish patent-law litigation. As the world’s leading producer of genetically modified organisms, the company has now positioned itself as the savior from world hunger. Of course, their seeds produce only sterile offspring, and the herbicide of choice—actually, no choice—is of their own making. Robin’s outrage is well supported by wide-ranging scientific evidence, though a snarky tone undermines objectivity. A familiarity with endocrinology or molecular biology would be helpful to sift through the claims of Monsanto and its adversaries. Regardless, even lay readers are prodded to wise up and increase their awareness of what has become a serious threat. “After tracking the company for four years,” writes the author, “I am in a position to state that we can no longer say we didn’t know, and that it would be irresponsible to allow the food of humanity to fall into Monsanto’s hands.”

Unblinkingly partisan, which by no means dilutes its highly disconcerting message.

Pub Date: May 4th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59558-426-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: New Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2010




MORE BY GEORGE HOLOCH

NonfictionA CONVERGENCE OF CIVILIZATIONS by Youssef Courbage
by Youssef Courbage
NonfictionLAFAYETTE by Gonzague Saint Bris
by Gonzague Saint Bris
FictionWILL YOU BE THERE? by Guillaume Musso
by Guillaume Musso

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionCOOKED by Michael Pollan
by Michael Pollan