26
Mrz
2005

Ventria Threatens To Contaminate Missouri Rice with Pharmaceutical Rice - Engineered With Human Genes

This was just forwarded by Anne Mendenhall of Aurora, NY. It sounds as though comments will be accepted by the Missouri Dept of Ag even after today--

GENETIC ENGINEERING ALERT !!!

Ventria Threatens To Contaminate Missouri Rice with Pharmaceutical Rice -- Engineered With Human Genes


COMMENTS ON MISSOURI FIELD TRIALS DUE MARCH 25
Please Submit Comments To: 1) USDA and 2) Missouri Department
of Agriculture
DEADLINE: Friday, March 25
This is FAST AND EASY: Sample Comments are Linked Below.
Federal Register Notice:
//www.agmatters.net/GE/Ventria_EA___FR_Notice_2_23_05_both_2.pdf


A Sample Letter (developed by the Center for Food Safety) to Missouri’s Department of Agriculture:
//www.agmatters.net/GE/LetterToMissouriDeptOfAg3.doc

Sample Comments to USDA:
//www.agmatters.net/GE/USDA_CommentsOnVentriaMar24_05.doc

If you wish to prepare your own comments, simply reject the rice field trials based on the impossibility of stopping contamination, and the economic damage it would cause to Missouri rice growers and rice industry.


BACKGROUND (From the Center for Food Safety):
A small pharmaceutical company called Ventria Biosciences is attempting to plant its varieties of genetically engineering pharmaceutical rice - ENGINEERED WITH HUMAN GENES - in the Bootheel of Missouri, the heart of the state's rice-producing region.

They have applied to the US Department of Agriculture for permits to grow up to 204 acres of their rice, and hope to plant it this spring.

The US Food and Drug Administration has not certified that this rice is safe for human consumption, and their policy states that drugs in food are unacceptable. And, many scientists, rice farmers and regulators acknowledge that it is impossible to guarantee that contamination of the food supply won't happen. The Missouri RiceResearch and Merchandising Council is opposed to the planting of this rice, and the National Food Processors Association demands no use of food or feed crops for plant-made pharmaceutical production without a 100% guarantee against any contamination.

One year ago, Ventria attempted to plant its drug-producing rice in California. A huge outcry from rice farmers, environmentalists, consumers, and legislators forced the California Department of Food and Agriculture to delay a decision, which prevented the planting in 2004. Ventria has since moved its operations to Missouri, where it expects to meet with less resistance and regulations.


PLEASE HELP STOP THE PLANTING OF VENTRIA'S RICE. This is the only way to protect the food supply from contamination by drugs, and to protect the economic well-being of Missouri’s rice farmers. BOTH THE USDA AND THE MISSOURI DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! Time is short -- the USDA public comment period ends tomorrow, Friday, March 25th (though send comments in, especially to MO Dept. of Ag, if you get this action alert after March 25th).


Thank you!

Pam Browning
Policy Coordinator
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
110 Maryland Avenue, Suite 306
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-544-5466
pam@sustainableagriculture.net
//www.sustainableagriculture.net


Brian Caldwell
Farm Education Coordinator
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York
180 Walding Lane
Spencer, NY 14883
607-564-1060
education@nofany.org


Informant: JHW369
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