|Biotechnology and the Future of World Agriculture (GRAIN, 1991)|
When Zed Books contacted me in 1988 to ask permission to republish New Hope or False Promise?, a booklet I had written a year earlier, my initial reaction was: great, but it needs updating first. What started off as updating a few tables and paragraphs, which I had thought of as taking a few weeks' work, almost turned into the writing of a new book on the same issue. In a process that took me almost two years - from accepting the idea to delivering the final product - I now can positively state that updating a book is more difficult than writing one. Still, I tremendously enjoyed doing it. the pace of breakthroughs in the new biotechnologies and the rapid changes in the industry are simply breathtaking. So is the process of trying to monitor them.
Biotechnology and the Future of World Agriculture, then, is a thoroughly expanded and updated version of New Hope or False Promise?. Readers of this earlier booklet will recognize bits and pieces of it in this book, but most of the material is drawn from more recent information sources. Some of the research done for this book has also resulted in articles for Seedling, which is the newsletter of GRAIN (Genetic Resources Action International), the organization with which I am working.
More than a product of my own research and thoughts, this book is the result of a collective effort. Numerous persons - too many to mention individually - participating in one way or the other in the different campaigns we are involved in, contributed often unwittingly in the preparation of this book. Ren,e Vellv, and David Cooper, my colleagues at GRAIN, were especially the source of substantial input. Not only did they do a tremendous job on the final editing but also assisted in much of the research and bits of the writing itself. In that sense the book is really a GRAIN effort. It goes without saying, however, that the views expressed and responsibility for any remaining errors are solely mine.
Last but not least there is Anna. Without her support to keep on going and her pressure to get it finished, this book would never have seen daylight. Henk Hobbelink Barcelona, 1991