7 January 2002
Crunch time for gene crops

By Adrienne Francis

A BIOTECH company hopes to change opinion about genetically modified foods by improving the crunch in cornflakes, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Monsanto will conduct a multi-million-pound research and breeding programme to create a strain of maize resistant to moisture, it says.

Researches will try to discover plant genes producing high wax levels and transfer the quality into corn grown for breakfast cereals.

UK development manager Colin Merritt said he hoped the research would show GM technology could produce “an obvious direct consumer benefit”.

But a spokesman for Friends of the Earth told the Telegraphthe research had a “fair claim to be the most pointless GM product yet”.

Scientists have struggled with non-soggy cereals for years, including the Institute of Food Research in Norwich that spent 200,000, said the paper.