Let's think about the prospects for a Glowing Salad Scenario in the future. If the campaign to irradiate leafy greens were all out, meaning that the US FDA became bound by law to mandate irradiation of all non-organic produce...this will be increasingly plausible if a second, and especially if a third E-coli outbreak occurs in 2007...it would certainly increase the market share of organic and locally-produced greens. Rapidly. The only way around that unintended outcome would be for agribusiness interests to lobby for including organic and farm market produce in the irradiation requirements. That advocacy strategy would lead to a huge push back by small farmers and consumers. Considering this possibility, we hope that US grocers, in readying their response to the coming debates, will remember what Clint Eggplant said in the movies: "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?'"
2007 will see stronger segmentation between industrial-scale produce and organic/local produce. Public health will become a significant differentiator, getting added attention from consumers and investors. Expect plenty of op ed articles and political talking points criticising organic produce (unemployed climate skeptics have to find new work).
Home kitchen gardens will gain popularity; and,
An NAS panel will be appointed to deliberate on which post-harvest treatment technologies are best, adding to consumer frustration. The unwillingness of Congress to tackle the underlying issues of how food is produced before harvest will strengthen the green consumer lobby.