I have already covered conspiracies against our health and peace of mind have been hidden in the seemingly innocent form of rice.
Well here's a new one: the recent discovery of an illegal, unapproved, genetically-modified rice called LibertyLink or LL601 from the US firm Bayer on the international market. According to Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Richard Bell, LL601 has been detected in virtually all milled long-grain rice supplies that have been tested.
No wonder the Bayer homepage has the quote “We want to more intensively exploit the opportunities for growth in the areas of innovation, new technologies and seeds” on it no less than twice.
This has prompted many international markets, including Japan (no, they don’t eat a lot of rice!) and the EU, to refuse some or all of our rice at the border.
So, what does the USDA do? Reprimand Bayer for knowingly selling an illegal and unapproved new technology disguised as food to the global markets? They claim they didn’t knowingly release it into the food chain. Well, one of the biggest complaints about GMOs is how easily the altered genes can irreversibly contaminate the regular food supply. Hmm, maybe we weren't just paranoid after all.
Are they going to recall the rice? Are they planning on fining Bayer for not taking efforts to prevent its experimental and unapproved genes from spreading to the international food supply?
If you answered, none of the above, in fact let’s just retroactively rubberstamp this all as OK, you are our tinfoil hat winner of the day.
The USDA is inviting public comment on this decision. If you would like to comment, you can go through the simple process of going to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main, you have to know the name of the document is “APHIS-2006-0140-0001”, and you can either click on the little speech balloon and make a comment (which is not readily apparent), or mail your forms in QUADRUPLICATE to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Too bad Bayer didn’t jump through hoops like this to get their Frankenrice approved.