When Technophobia Becomes Toxic
Editors’Note: August 4, 2017
Legitimateobjections have been raised about the independence and integrity of thecommentaries that Henry Miller has written for Project Syndicate and other outlets, inparticular that Monsanto, rather than Miller, drafted some of them. Readersshould be aware of this potential conflict of interest, which, had it beenknown at the time Miller’s commentaries were accepted, would have constitutedgrounds for rejecting them.
STANFORD – During the late 1990’s, a singular phenomenon appeared in countries around the world. One after another, food and beverage companies capitulated to activists opposed to a promising new technology: the genetic engineering of plants to produce ingredients. They are still capitulating to this day.
The Japanese brewer Kirin and the Danish brewer Carlsberg eliminated genetically engineered ingredients from their beers. In the United States, the fast-food giant McDonald's banned them from its menu; food manufacturers Heinz and Gerber (then a division of Switzerland-based Novartis) dropped them from their baby-food lines; and Frito-Lay demanded that its growers stop planting corn engineered to contain a bacterial protein that confers resistance to insect predation.