From the "bad idea of the day" file comes this report from The Des Moines Register looking at corn that has been genetically modified to make it more suitable for biofuel production (and less suitable for human consumption) - Vilsack OKs industrial corn.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has approved a biotech corn variety that was engineered solely for producing fuel ethanol. Companies that mill corn for breakfast cereals and other foods have been fighting the move for fear the grain will contaminate their supplies.
The corn, a product of Syngenta, contains an enzyme that reduces the cost of turning the grain into the biofuel. That same enzyme can make the corn unsuitable for some food products, including cereals and coatings on corn dogs, according to millers. But Syngenta insists that the corn will be kept away from food channels through the use of grower contracts and financial incentives and by growing it only in areas where food companies don’t procure their grain supplies.
The corn, which will go by the trade name Enogen, is to be grown this year only in western parts of Kansas and Nebraska, but Syngenta hopes to eventually offer it to areas around ethanol plants in Iowa and other states.