There are controversies surrounding GMOs on multiple levels, including whether making them is ethical, whether food produced with them is safe, whether such food should be labeled and if so how, whether agricultural biotech is needed to address world hunger now or in the future, and more specifically to GM crops—intellectual property and market dynamics; environmental effects of GM crops; and GM crops’ role in industrial agricultural more generally.
Just 8 years ago, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns announced GMO rice infected our crops, now USDA field manager Sandra Metheny says our rice is ‘GMO Free’.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), has now provided the USA Rice Federation with a “No Transgenic Rice Letterhead Statement” that can be used by any exporter of U.S. rice to do business.
The statement reads, in its entirety: “There are no transgenic rice varieties for sale or in commercial production in the United States at this time.”
Sandra Metheny suggests that it is “not necessary for exporters to perform any additional testing of rice”.
Or is it?
This particular government agency struggles to even verify all food label claims. Should testing still occur on our rice to verify the USDA results?