So what caused such a delay in getting it out to the farmers? It was created by Peter Beyer, professor for cell biology at Freiburg University in Germany, and Ingo Potrykus of the Institute of Plant Sciences in Switzerland in the late 1990s, and was ready for field trials by 2000.
But the first field trials were delayed for seven years by protests from Greenpeace and other environmental groups, and crossing various regulatory hurdles took another six.
Both the protests and the regulatory hurdles were based on the notion that genetically engineered plants are “unnatural”. Which automatically raises the question: which human food crops are actually “natural”, in the sense that you will find them growing wild in nature. Answer: none.