U.S. Government Funds Biotech-Boosting Website

The U.S. government has launched a new website that trumpets the benefits of genetically modified foods — paid for with taxpayer dollars. It’s part of a larger State Department effort to “encourage broader adoption and acceptance of biotechnology in the developing world,” said department official Deborah Malac; the program got half a million dollars this year, and a million over the previous two. Some farming and environmental groups have protested that the government should be funding research on the safety of GM crops rather than accepting (and pushing) corporate claims about their beneficial qualities, and that an allegedly free-market society should not be subsidizing individual industries. No complaints, though, from the industry being subsidized: Said Lisa Dry of the Biotechnology Industry Association, “The State Department clearly sees value in this technology and they are trying to share that with other countries.”