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The North American biotechnology industry is introducing a voluntary moratorium on planting certain types of crops in major food-producing regions.

Under the moratorium, growers will be banned from planting certain types of GM corn in the Midwest farm belt and from planting some types of rape plant on the Canadian prairie, reported the Washington Post.

It is hoped that the moratorium will prevent a recurrence of the StarLink corn controversy. Two years ago it was discovered that genetically engineered StarLink corn, which only had approval for use as animal feed, ended up in taco shells and other food products. Product recalls cost food companies millions of dollars.

The biotech industry is desperate to avoid another such disaster that affected it badly in terms of public support.