Seeds of Discontent

Can growing protests stem the tide of genetically engineered crops?

Activists won the most recent round, however. Aventis, producer of StarLink corn, agreed to buy back its product from farmers at an estimated cost of $70 million, and grocery clerks perhaps earned some overtime hours pulling taco shells from the shelves. Meanwhile, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, the world's population will reach 9 billion by mid-century, and more than 800 million people exist in a chronic state of malnourishment. No amount of manure will produce enough to feed the increase with any certainty.

On the other hand, genetically engineered foods continue to filter into the market, and overt resistance becomes an uncertain thing. "We don't use any genetically engineered foods," said Green Room's Pitzer. "At least, not on purpose."

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