Seeds into $$$

New monkey wrenches in Europe

While U.S. life science giants DuPont Co. and Monsanto Co. are counting on biotechnology to leverage their billions of dollars invested in seed companies, European retailers are taking a tougher stand against food biotechnology.

British retailers Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's last week announced that they have established a pan-European consortium of major food retailers that plans to establish validated sources of genetically modified-free crops, products and derivatives. The consortium members have promised a GMO ingredient-free environment as far as their own label products are concerned.