Riceland Stands Against Genetically Modified Rice in Southeast Missouri

MARCH 29, 2005 - Posted at 7:32 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Stuttgart-based Riceland Foods wants federal regulators to deny a request by a competitor for a permit to grow genetically modified rice in southeastern Missouri.

Riceland, the world's largest rice miller and marketer, has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deny Ventria Bioscience's request to grow about 200 acres of the rice in Cape Girardeau, Scott and Mississippi counties in Missouri.

The Missouri Farm Bureau supports Ventria, which recently announced it was moving from Sacramento, California to Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.

Riceland says there is no level of acceptance among consumers, in the U.S. or abroad, for genetically modified rice.

Ventria Bioscience says it wants to grow about 200 acres of rice engineered with human genes to produce human proteins that could be used to make pharmaceuticals for gastrointestinal health.  The company wants to plant in March or April.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)