Monsanto, Dole, and NON-Genetically-Modified Foods

One key complaint about GM foods is that, so far, none of them has been engineered to have any properties that consumers much care about. Mostly they’ve been engineered to be herbicide-resistant, drought-resistant, and so on — all of which stands to benefit farmers, and thus holds the potential to lower food prices, at least in theory. But so far there’s been nothing that really brings the benefits of the biotech revolution to my dinner plate.

So this announcement of a partnership between Monsanto and Dole might have been thought of as changing all that. But for better or for worse, it doesn’t.

From the Globe and Mail: Tastier broccoli, spinach?

Monsanto Co. and Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. are formalizing a partnership to breed broccoli, spinach and other vegetables that would be more attractive to consumers.

The five-year collaboration, announced Tuesday, will focus on creating variations of broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach, the companies said in a statement.

The focus of their efforts is to breed more colourful, tastier vegetables that are less susceptible to bruising and have a longer shelf-life.

“If I buy broccoli on Saturday or Sunday and try to cook it on Wednesday, it’ll get wilty,” Monsanto spokeswoman Riddhi Trivedi-St. Clair said of one of reasons for the program.

She also stressed that these new variants will not be genetically modified like the company’s corn seed and soybean products….

Maybe I should be posting this on a non-biotech-ethics blog. Because it’s about food that is not — I repeat not — genetically modified. Nope, not this food. No GM here. Nothing to see, folks. Move along, move along….

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About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.
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