Reacting to a growing backlash against genetically modified (GM) foods, Monsanto and other biotech giants have committed to spend $50 million a year for up to five years on a campaign to convince North Americans that their products are safe and beneficial. The campaign kicked off yesterday with TV commercials on major networks, and will include print ads and a website. The companies, which have joined forces to create the Council for Biotechnology Information, hope to fight back against the increasing influence of anti-biotechnology activists, who helped build resistance to GM foods in Europe and are trying to do the same in the U.S. GM opponents predicted the industry campaign would backfire. Charles Margulis of Greenpeace: “The nice thing is that consumers are pretty much concerned about biotech foods as soon as they hear about them.”