For years, opponents have argued that genetically engineered plants wreak havoc with human health and nature, and accuse plant biotech companies, such as Monsanto, of putting profits before people.
On the other hand, agricultural biotech proponents argue that engineered crops enable farmers to grow at a time of global food shortages, insidious pests, weeds and extreme weather.
"It's a complicated issue," says James E. McWilliams, author of American Pests and professor of history at Texas State University.
Plant virologist Roger N. Beachy, president of the Donald Danforth Plant Center in St. Louis, Missouri, thinks that environmentalists and biotech experts can emerge from the cloud of controversy, find common ground, and move toward green goals together. So, whether transgenic crops make you think "yum-yum" or "no ma'am," McWilliams and Beachy share what's cooking: