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Food for Africa : the life and work of a scientist in GM crops / Jennifer Thomson.

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Subject: Thomson, Jennifer A., 1947-
Genetically modified foods > Biography.
SCIENCE > Chemistry > Industrial & Technical.
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING > Chemical & Biochemical.
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY > Science & Technology.
Autobiography: science, technology & medicine

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781775820482
  • ISBN: 1775820483
  • ISBN: 9781775820499
  • ISBN: 1775820491
  • ISBN: 9781920499815
  • ISBN: 1920499814
  • Physical Description: 1 online resource (x, 172 pages) : illustrations
  • Publisher: Claremont, South Africa : UCT Press, 2013.

Content descriptions

Formatted Contents Note: Front cover; Title page; Imprint page; Table of contents; Foreword; Acknowledgements; List of acronyms; Introduction; From Sunday school teacher to scientist; To college at Cambridge; South African PhD; Harvard post-doc; The debate begins; The controversy is my solution; Frequent debates; The recent Séralini saga; Writing on science; Chapter 1: The SAGENE years; A visit to Basel; The Ledeganck Street lab, Ghent; My own laboratory; Restructuring the CSIR; The role of SAGENE; Chapter 2: From SAGENE to the GMO Act; Establishing procedures; GM tomatoes; GM cotton; From a committee to an Act.
Blocked by bureaucracySuccesses none the less; The International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications; AfricaBio; Chapter 3: Into Africa; Playing in another field; Pariahs stick together; The potential of African students; South African Women in Science and Engineering; Landing in Kenya; The University Science, Humanities and Engineering Partnerships in Africa; Florence Wambugu; Venturing into Nigeria; Fears around DNA transfer; Chapter 4: To Davos and further into Africa; Intellectual property and life forms; How the AATF works; IR maize; Bt cowpeas; Banana bacterial wilt.
The farmers' viewAddressing the UN; L'Oreal/UNESCO award; The ICGEB project; The InterAcademy Council; Chapter 5: A South African National Biotechnology Strategy; The biotechnology innovation centres; The National Biotechnology Advisory Committee; A calamitous development; The Bioeconomy Strategy; Chapter 6: African National Biotechnology Strategies; Kenya; Uganda; Tanzania; Burkina Faso; Ghana; Egypt; Chapter 7: The maize streak virus story; Help from abroad; The Claude Leon Foundation; Learning the technique; Getting the equipment; Wild grasses; Publicity; Chapter 8: David vs Goliath.
Rockefeller to the rescueThe South African Maize Trust; Monsanto, our Goliath; Chapter 9: Food for Africa; Can GM crops help feed the hungry in Africa?; Environmental effects; Insect-resistant (Bt) cowpea; Disease-resistant bananas; Cassava resistant to cassava mosaic virus (CMV); Drought-tolerant maize; Improved rice varieties; Striga-resistant maize; Vitamin-enhanced crops; Sorghum; In the hands of the politicians; The views of Africans themselves; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.
Summary: Tracing through anecdote and science the development of a hotly contended area of research, this account expounds the dawn of genetic engineering in the United States in 1974, through the early stages of its uptake in South Africa, to the current situation, in which approximately 80 percent of maize in South Africa is genetically modified for drought resistance. The guide through this history is Jennifer Thomson, whose own story of how she came to choose genetic modification (GM) as a career and her path-breaking involvement in the development of GM research. She describes the spread of this technology into other parts of Africa and her venture into unknown territory to develop crops resistant to drought, insects, and viruses, a journey in which she came up against the multinational Monsanto. The book describes a remarkable personal and scientific evolution and looks to a future in which staple crops may be grown in difficult conditions by smallholder farmers and help Africans achieve food security.
Funding Information Note: Knowledge Unlatched
Information Relating to Copyright Status: This work is licensed by Knowledge Unlatched under a Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode

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