Guess What's in Store
The ongoing recall of genetically modified StarLink corn, which is not approved for human consumption, could cost businesses all along the food chain hundreds of millions of dollars as they try to track down and dispose of nearly 300 food products that may contain the corn, as well as contaminated grain shipments. The recall is affecting restaurants and stores ranging from Applebee’s and Wendy’s to Albertson’s and Wal-Mart. Some consumers are filing lawsuits claiming they had allergic reactions to the corn. Aventis, developer of the corn, has asked the U.S. EPA to temporarily approve its use in food so that no more recalls will be necessary; the EPA is reviewing the company’s request. The StarLink debacle could cause lingering problems for the biotechnology industry. “There’s going to be a backlash here on multiple fronts,” predicted Sano Shimoda of BioScience Securities Inc., a biotech investment banking firm.