Magazine article USA TODAY

Consumers Shrug off Designer Food Dangers

Magazine article USA TODAY

Consumers Shrug off Designer Food Dangers

Article excerpt

Contrary to popular lore, the public is not particularly concerned about eating foods tailored through biotechnology, notes Thomas Hoban, professor of sociology and food science, North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In some instances, reaction may be muted because the products are practically "invisible," he indicates. Take soybeans, which can be modified to resist insects or herbicides. They will be "grown, mixed in with all the other soybeans, and end up in soybean oil, and nobody is really going to know or care." On the other hand, the biotech aspect of a food may be "more noticeable if it's a fresh produce item, like a tomato, that has a label on it."

The use of the growth hormone BST (bovine somatotropin) to increase dairy cow milk yields, at one time a contentious issue, virtually has turned into a non-event. "There are a couple of states where they are talking about labels for milk, but those tend to be where it's mainly a dairy farmer issue. I don't think many people are that concerned about it. …

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