I sense big trouble ahead. Monsanto and Dole are teaming up to "improve" our vegetables. While Monsanto says this won't include genetic engineering others are sceptical (now I wonder why that is?). The following is from a Natural Foods Merchandiser article:

In a new collaboration between the Monsanto Company and Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc., plant breeding will be used to enhance the look, aroma, texture and taste of certain vegetables, but some natural food advocates say such "tinkering" is not necessary.

The five-year collaboration will focus on broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach. The breeding is also expected to improve the vegetables' nutritional value, according to the companies.

"I'm skeptical," said Bill Freese, science and policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety. "Especially with spinach and broccoli, they are already chock-full with nutrients. We don't need to tinker with them to make them more nutritious. What we need is more diverse diets."

Monsanto spokeswoman Riddhi Trivedi-St. Clair said no genetic engineering will be used in this collaboration between Dole and Monsanto, the makers of RoundUp, who also develop genetically-engineered crops to resist the herbicide.

"This collaboration is based on development through breeding, as opposed to genetic modification. It's very basic. Farmers have done it for centuries," she said. "There may be biotechnology with vegetables, eventually, but this collaboration won't have any genetic engineering."

Read the full article

The bit "There may be biotechnology with vegetables, eventually" should have us all very worried. Bioengineering generally includes implanting genes across species, e.g. scientists have worked on tomates with genes from pigs.

Mark Fergusson