Monday, August 11, 2003

Playing With Food

Last month the Australian government agency responsible for regulating
genetically engineered (GE) (aka genetically modified, GM) food approved
the planting of the first commercial GE food crop, canola.

The purpose of this post is not to debate the pros and cons of GE/GM food,
but rather to highlight some amusing and interesting developments in food
manipulation research.

1. "Tear-inducing onions get the chop" [Japan, 2002]
   "Tear-free onion invented" [UK, 2003]

2. "Scientists get wind of a flatulence-free bean"

3. "Biotech researchers create safer soybeans"

4. "Blueberry hamburgers coming to buns near you?"

5. "Round carrot rolled out across UK"

6. "Scientists Unveil Low-Calorie Watermelon"

7. "GM bacteria may banish tooth decay"

8. "Scientists Create Many Biotech Crops"

9. "Genetic engineers decaffeinate coffee"

10. "Not Your Average Cup of Joe"

Some opponents have dubbed GM food "Frankenfood"; see definition:

(Note that "Frankenstein" was the scientist and not the monster he

Hopefully all foods are thoroughly tested before being unleashed onto
the public, and that food labels are informative. We could do without
a repeat of the Olestra fiasco:
  "New Olestra Complaints Bring Total Close To 20,000 - More Than All
   Other Food Additive Complaints In History Combined"