Field of Genes
The effects of the biotechnology revolution on farmers and consumers.
Technology has quietly slipped into the food chain, shifting genes from one life form to another. Multi-national chemical companies have created genetically altered potatoes, corn, soybeans, and canola - that variously are toxic to pests, herbicide tolerant, and dependent on chemical inputs.
Directed by Janet Thomson
Produced by CBC's "The National"
The biotechnology industry claims that its new foods have great potential for everyone, including the world's hungry. But skepticism abounds as to whether the hungry, or indeed the family farmer, or even the consumer, will derive substantial benefit from this high-tech, heavily capitalized new mode of production.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1998
Copyright Date: 1997
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-668-3
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-758-1
"A big question is the tight relationship between the use of genetically altered crop seeds and the corporations that have developed them... Monsanto requires that farmers who grow them sign contracts restricting how they may dispose of excess production and requiring that unused seeds (be) return(ed) to the company...This film strives to present both sides of this sensitive issue in a careful and reasoned way. Highly recommended."
Buzz Haughton, Shields Library, UC-Davis MC Journal
"Given its cautionary bent, this timely, well-shot program is sure to provoke discussion."
"A superb introduction...for a high school or college class; for a public teach-in or workshop about the topic; and for educating legislators."
The Maine Organic Farmer and Gardener
"An enlightening look at the evolution of transgenic food and the issues surrounding its production and consumption."
Cathy Schaeff, PhD, Biology Department, American University
"This timely, well-shot program is sure to provoke discussion."
Awards and Festivals
Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
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