Recipe for Controversy
The Clinton administration yesterday finally announced that it would conduct long-term studies of genetically engineered foods, and said that it is considering asking the food industry to voluntarily label genetically modified products. But Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said the government would still use all legal means to push genetically modified products into European markets. In the meantime, the Environmental Defense Fund has filed a petition with the EPA asking that farmers in the U.S. be required to plant conventional corn around fields of genetically modified corn to prevent the escape of toxic pollen into areas where butterflies feed. Some news outlets are reporting that a number of farmers are disappointed with the performance of genetically modified crops. Biotech companies have promised higher yields and lower pesticide and herbicide needs, but some farmers aren’t finding that to be the case, and some genetically modified crops are fetching lower prices on the market than conventional crops.