Modify the Apples Without Upsetting the Cart

The debate around genetically modified organisms "is fragmenting global food markets and putting political pressure on food exporters to choose between producing natural" or GMO crops. As "big biotech companies ... are looking for growth opportunities in Asia to compensate for the problems they have encountered in European markets," Thailand developed "a seven-year plan to ... [become] a regional biotech hub." The Thai government "commissioned a team of U.S. biotech experts to tailor a pro-GMO national-policy message that wouldn't alienate Thailand's biggest anti-GMO export markets." The state also funds Biotec, a "biotech research and engineering outfit," whose scientists "are ready to patent various Thai-specific" GMO grains, fruits and vegetables.