Table of Contents

Foreword (by Dr. Hans Herrin, IAASTD Co-Chair)
Preface (free download)
Chapter One: Précis for Policy Makers
Chapter Two: Setting the Scene
Chapter Three: Defining Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
Chapter Four: Presence
Chapter Five: Yield
Chapter Six: Pesticides
Chapter Seven: Biotechnology for Sustainable Cultures
(free download)
Chapter Eight: Growing more food on less (intellectual) property
Appendix One: What is a GMO?
Appendix Two: Weed control strategies
Appendix Three: Potential human health risks from Bt plants (free download)
Appendix Four: Legal remedies case studies


"The purpose of this book is to lay out the arguments and evidence used by the authors of the Assessment to reach their conclusions. The rationale for presenting the evidence in this way is to make it possible for those countries with fewer resources and with limited access to the broader research literature, to have at their fingertips exactly the evidence they need when negotiating and setting legislation and policy on biosafety, biotechnology and agriculture."

"The purpose of this book is not to pit [genetic engineering] against other biotechnologies, but to chart the course for development of the right biotechnology to meet our mutual goals of having plentiful nutritious and tasty foods that are fit for purpose and locally prized, and to do so without losing the ability to continue to feed future generations. It is also essential that the pathway to this future of food also strengthens local communities and builds local economies. The Assessment is confident that the pathway to feeding the world in a sustainable way will not only achieve a more resilient agriculture, in the process it will restore our diverse global ecosystem and halt the loss of our diverse human agricultures."
Hope Not Hype is available at a reduced cost from TWN to those from developing countries, and the full text has been donated to the Biosafety Clearing House.

site and contents copyright Jack A. Heinemann 2009


"In this sense, agriculture is universal in the way that language is, but it has diverged between cultures, and defines cultures, with the same variety and difference that has marked the evolution of different languages. The reasons some of these cultures have gone extinct or are threatened may have little to do with their success at making food or providing other social goods such as jobs, feelings of self-worth, empowerment and education, and more to do with factors well outside the control of the farmer. Everything these cultures learned and did is also not necessarily less sophisticated or successful than anything in modern industrial agriculture. These agricultures are therefore not to be judged as failed; each has its own history and local criteria for success. Indeed, as argued in these pages, the diversity of agricultures is itself a strength of humanity, rather than, as often implied, an artifact of societies in need of rescuing through homogenization with American or European approaches to industrial agriculture. The diversity of agricultures adds resilience to world food production just as wheat genetic diversity adds resilience to global wheat production. Diversity predisposes us to survive the crises we have yet to encounter. Large scale industrial agriculture consolidating under the control of a small number of mega-corporations is a monoculture, not just a force creating monocultures."


"Those with food surpluses must begin to organize their agriculture so as to stimulate and sustain agriculture outside of their own borders. Presently many of the large food exporting nations subsidize food production. The amount of domestic subsidies by these economies was already $US 327 billion in the year 2000. The total estimated cost of farming subsidies in wealthy nations is an annual US$24 billion loss in income to developing economies. This practice is a prescription for global hunger that will increase the chances of starvation. Instead, these large economies must learn to import new economic models of fairness and cooperation."