BioPharm Rice and Genetically Altered Busch Beer??????
No, Budweiser doesn’t APPEAR to want their beer to be contaminated by biopharmed rice that pharmaceutical companies are experimenting with to produce their new drugs.
But they are compromising already.
BioPharm. A new way to produce drugs. Raise some rice and genetically alter it to produce your next Viagra or diabetic drug.
Except, what if the winds blow ill, and the pollen from the drug-containing rice or other altered crop mixes with your natural rice? and then you eat it, and get adversely affected by the drug within? I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous.
Alas, it is happening. Check the COVER story on this in the latest issue of Catalyst magazine, Volume 4, Summer 2005, published by the Union of Concerned Scientists [UCS]. It is not posted yet on the UCS website, but look for it in the pretty soon future via
What is happening is that our food has become so much more a “commodity” than a food, that it is now being allowed to be tampered with, treated like just a medium, like an agar plate to produce new drugs. That could contaminate nearby plots of crops. Like corn, soybeans and rice. And you could accidentally be a victim of an allergic reaction or a mysterious hypotensive episode [low blood pressure — you might suddenly unusually become too weak, and pass out], if the drug being produced gets into your body when you would never want it to.
Drugs like lactoferrin and lysozyme are already being researched, set into rice, and may be in a field near you.
UCS is worried about three major phases of what they call “commodity corn and soybean production,” where contamination could occur. These would be “seed production, on-farm production, and post-harvest handling and transport.” So it is even more complex than you might think at first.
Here’s the Organic Byte on this as relating to BEER from issue #56 from Organic Consumers, published April 26, 2005:
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED BEER
Two weeks ago, Anheuser-Busch, “The King of Beers,” announced it would not source rice from Missouri if the state allowed the farming of genetically engineered “biopharmed” rice. The experimental rice contains manipulated genes to cause it to produce cheap pharmaceutical drugs. Opponents of the rice say it’s too easy for such plants to contaminate neighboring crops and spread into the food supply. Last week, Busch made a compromise with Ventria, the biotech company responsible for the GE rice, saying it would drop its demands as long as the pharmaceutical rice isn’t planted too close to traditional food rice.
For more on this here is the link to an article: