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USDA Approves Contaminated GM Rice Strain

Earlier this year, I warned you about a genetically modified (GM) and long abandoned species of rice (Liberty Link 601) created by Bayer that had contaminated long-grain rice shipments meant for Europe.

To no one's surprise, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service took advantage of the distractions provided by the long Thanksgiving weekend to announce its deregulation of LL601. Some 300 farmers in Arkansas and Missouri may make Bayer pay heavily for tainting their rice, however, as a class-action lawsuit has been filed.

In the meantime, Bayer slipped past typical regulatory and safety testing required by other companies in ruling LL601 is similar to varieties of biotech rice already approved but never marketed by Bayer because farmers didn't want them. By the way, the bacterial gene in LL601 is also found in other approved varieties of GM corn, canola and cotton.

Isn't it wonderful how our elected officials give multi-national companies like Bayer a free pass to contaminate our foods, as always, at the expense of your health? By the way, Europe reiterated its ban on U.S. rice due to the "Frankenfood" snafu.

Before you head for the grocery store the next time, I urge you to review some tips I posted earlier this year that will help you separate the fake food from the real thing.

Washington Post November 25, 2006