Unapproved GM Rice Contaminates Global Supply

rice field

rice fieldAs we fight to put an end to genetically modified crops (or at least be told when they are in our food), another batter wages on. This battle is being fought by huge corporations like Monsanto and Bayer CropScience—they are fighting to ensure their genetically modified seeds take over the world’s agricultural supply regardless of what the people want. Just like the unapproved GM flax NaturalSociety reported on last week, genetically modified rice is contaminating the global supply despite having never been approved for growing or eating.

As the GM Contamination Register reports, during 2006 and 2007, three different strains of genetically modified rice were found in US rice exports and subsequently the world over. There were three specific strains of rice—one of which was approved in the U.S. and the other two which were not. Still, none of the strains were approved for cultivation or consumption anywhere else in the world. In total, the GM rice was found in more than 30 countries.

It’s believed the initial contamination began in the U.S. during field trials of the herbicide-resistant rice made by Bayer Crop-Science. The trials were abandoned in 2002 and although two different strains were deregulated by officials, the rice was never placed on the market.

According to the USDA, these field trials, which took place between the mid-1990s and 2002, are to blame for the eventual global contamination. Interestingly, they were unable to determine if the contamination occurred because of cross pollination or mechanical mixing.

The discovery of GM rice in their U.S. imports has led countries from across the globe to pull U.S. rice from their shelves, and understandably so. Just as in the seemingly-rogue GM wheat discovered in Oregon or the GM-flax found worldwide—no one wants these lab-created monsters in their countries.

Experts say this contamination is inevitable and that it will continue. No doubt, GM-giants like Monsanto and Bayer CropScience are okay with this.

“Scientific studies confirm that GM contamination is unavoidable once GM crops are grown in a region,” explains the Earth Open Source report GMO Myths and Truths (pdf).

“‘Coexistence’ rapidly results in widespread contamination of non-GM crops … through cross-pollination, spread of GM seed by farm machinery, and inadvertent mixing during storage.”

While the future may look bleak for traditional non-GM crops, people across the globe are continuing to fight back—letting it be known that we won’t allow these corporations to take over agriculture without a fight. To show your support, involve yourself in the Monsanto Video Revolt taking place on July 24th, where millions of people around the world will voice their opposition to GMOs and Monsanto alike all over the internet.