The history is well documented here, but familiar. What the author adds is historical context which demonstrates that the Roundup debacle was part of a larger pattern of unleashing half-baked chemical solutions to problems — solutions which, all too frequently, created even bigger problems down the line ... Elmore paints a damning portrait of a corporation that was slow to investigate the dangers of the chemicals it sold and attempted to discredit the work of the scientists who had the temerity to reveal those dangers ... While he pulls no punches in telling this quintessential story of the results of corporate hubris, Elmore resists the temptation to make it a morality tale with clear-cut villains ... The author’s point is not that genetic engineering is evil, as some of its critics contend, or even that it doesn’t work. In the right hands, Elmore says, new genetic tools such as Crispr gene editing might indeed help generate something like the agricultural revolution that Monsanto promised, but never delivered ... That may be true. Still, one wonders if a corporate system that sees no higher value than increasing quarterly earnings can be trusted with our food future.
An insightful chronicle ... [We've] surrendered too much control to institutions whose priority is making a profit and who spread disease and destruction to achieve it. Elmore’s gimlet eye reveals that, although an energetic and creative enterprise, Monsanto did not break the mold. For more alarming information about Roundup, pair this book with Stephanie Seneff’s Toxic Legacy ... An astute, evenhanded history of a business often portrayed, with good reason, as a villain.