Leaf Me Alone
Reacting to mounting consumer unease about genetically modified (GM) foods, McDonald’s and other fast-food chains are quietly telling their french-fry suppliers to stop using Monsanto’s GM “New Leaf” potato, which has been designed to produce a toxin that repels a potato pest. Many farmers are finding that the market for the GM potatoes is shrinking dramatically. On the other hand, a number of companies are betting that the market for GM animals is ripe for growth and are developing new varieties of everything from salmon to pigs. Biotech critics complain that the U.S. has virtually no regulations to ensure that the new animals won’t seriously disrupt ecosystems. In other GM news, Japan last week decided to require safety tests for GM foods, a move that may make it more difficult for the U.S. to export food to Japan.