Furor Over "Frankenfood"

Fear of gene-altered crops is now a real threat to U.S. exports worth billions

Dave Boettger is ready to harvest 280 acres of corn growing on his Harlan (Iowa) farm. But a proposed sales contract from Archer Daniels Midland Co. has left him wondering if he can afford to. ADM is offering 8 cents a bushel more for the old-fashioned corn Boettger grows than for the gene-spliced corn that now accounts for one-half of his acreage. But if testing reveals even a tiny amount of altered genes anywhere in his grain, he would have to pay ADM for the cost of dumping the entire load. "Pollen from my other fields could contaminate the load, so there's no way that I can warrant that the shipment is 100% nongenetically modified corn," he says. "I can't work under this contract."

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.