It's a story, rather than an argument on behalf of one side or the other. That story begins in the scientific breakthroughs of the early 1980s and the decision by one midwestern chemical company, Monsanto, to dive headfirst into biotechnology.
Lords of the Harvest chronicles the cutthroat scientific competition and backroom business deals that led to the first generation of genetically engineered crops: Flavr Savr tomatoes, Roundup Ready soybeans, and insect-killing cotton and corn. It explains Monsanto's fateful crusade to re-write the rules of the seed business and how it ended up in a feud with the world's largest seed company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International. It outlines the forces and the personalities that drove Monsanto toward decisions that transformed the company, in the eyes of many, into a villain with ruthless ambitions that spanned the globe.
The book explores the
motivations and the personal backgrounds
of people on all sides of this conflict, from scientists and executives
at Monsanto to the company's leading opponents. (For the
own perspective and reasons for writing the book, read the Prologue.)