To Market, To Market
In March the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certified that several new varieties of genetically engineered potatoes and apples are safe to eat, closely following the Department of Agriculture’s approval of them for unlimited cultivation and sale. The new products offer intriguing benefits. The newly approved “Innate” potato, for instance, is bruise-resistant (promising less waste) and contains considerably less of a chemical that is converted to a presumptive carcinogen when heated. The “Arctic” apple is designed to resist browning when cut.Such products will be welcome news to many consumers, but the bureaucratic ordeal was a tough row to hoe: the government’s regulation of these and similar products is a morass of unscientific policies, incompetence, and politics.