Sustainability in agriculture

Sustainability in agriculture 

R E Hester and R M Harrison (eds) 
Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry | 2005 | 130 pp | ?45 (HB) | ISBN 0854042016

Reviewed by Tony Mills

Modern agriculture is surrounded by controversy and many of the contentious topics are covered in this book.  

Sustainability in agriculture, part of the RSC series Issues in environmental science and technology consists of seven chapters written by experts on subjects such as GM crops, CAP reforms in the EU, fair/free trade in commodities and land management. On the whole the chapters are reasonably balanced, considering risks and benefits in a scientific way without stirring up emotions with doomsday scenarios.  

This book will contribute to the ongoing debate about sustainability in agriculture and whether it must involve net reductions in chemical inputs and a complete ban on genetically modified crops. It will provide agricultural and environmental science students and policy makers with a valuable outline of the key factors involved in these issues, which involve not just scientific considerations, but also political and economic ones.