Thursday, June 14, 2007

Are you sure you don't want to know?

I have been writing about GMO foods and got little response in the way of comments. I understand the "if I don't know about it, it won't bother me so much" mentality. But it is time to change that thinking and begin to be proactive in your approach to food.

True food is reporting a story that send chills up the back of my neck. Because rice is a go to food for emerging nations, and it is transported all over the world to alleviate starving indigenous people all over the globe, food science is trying to make it a better product.

However, after and exhaustive study by the Center for Food Safety, genetically altered, pharmaceutical rice is not better or a cost effective alternative to the real thing. The USDA was evaluating the process and encouraged to allow a 3200 acre rice pattie to be planted in Junction City, Kansas this spring by Ventria Bioscience.

Developed by California-based Ventria Bioscience, the rice is engineered with modified human genes to serve as a “biofactory” for production of synthetic human milk proteins that have antimicrobial and other drug-like properties. Ventria has proposed using the rice-extracted protein drugs to treat infants with diarrhea, and as additives in infant formulas, yogurt, granola bars and sports drinks, among other uses.

Despite much opposition and reams of information on how it could possibly have an adverse effect on the environment, the USDA approved the plan and gave Ventria the go ahead. Even when 20,000 people signed a petition to block it.