Ronald of UC Davis, who is married to an organic farmer and whose lab has genetically engineered rice for resistance to diseases and flooding, wonders why more consumers don't worry about unintended consequences arising from conventionally bred crops. One type of celery, for example, was conventionally bred to resist insects. But it caused allergic reactions in farmworkers during the harvest.
"Everything we eat has been genetically improved by some method," she said. When crops are altered by genetic engineering, she added, the process is regulated. Conventional breeding methods are not.