By John Ostapkovich

ELKINS PARK, Pa. (CBS) – An Elkins Park man’s new novel is hardly a garden variety thriller because it explores some frightening what-ifs about cutting edge biotechnology.

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Jon McGoran’s day job has him writing about the food industry, but he says those stories more and more involved fringe science.

His novel Drift, as in genetic drift, follows a suspended Philadelphia police detective spending his time off in Berks County. His neighbor is an organic farmer.

“She’s growing these heirloom blue corn and it gets hybridized with genetically modified corn that shouldn’t be anywhere near there,” McGoran explains. “And then, at the same time, Doyle, who’s the protagonist, starts to see some unsavory types in this small town and he starts to uncover some strange drug activity and those two intersect.”

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McGoran says he’s very concerned about genetically modified organisms, despite admitting that it could be a “hugely powerful technology.”

But he thinks it hasn’t been tested nearly enough to rule out the alarming scenario that he was all too happy to devise.

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