Farmers Concerned with New Genetic Crop

April 12, 2005-- Posted 5:00 pm CDT

Peach Orchard, MO--Some Missouri farmers are concerned their crops could be worthless due to what’s growing down the street.  Ventria, a company based out of California, is on the cutting edge when it comes to pharmaceutical crops.  Pharmaceutical crops are crops, which have been genetically engineered.  These crops have to be approved by the FDA because they genetically change the “fruit” of a plant or the part of the plant humans will eat.

The problem in Missouri is the Ventria rice has not been approved by the FDA.  Last week Anheuser Busch told local farmers if Ventria rice were grown in the area, they would not purchase any rice from Missouri.  Farmers fear this is the first of many companies, which will be scared off by the Ventria rice.

Anheuser Busch is the state’s largest buyer of rice.  They fear a possible recall of the Ventria rice could also include rice grown near or around the Ventria rice.  The recall would trickle down to foods, which included the rice.

Local farmers say they are taking a wait and see attitude when it comes to planting rice.  They say they have been in contact with their state Senators and officials about not allowing the new rice into Missouri.