ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

Eat GM Rice, But Don't Grow It

You can eat unapproved genetically modified rice, but don't try to grow it.

So says the USDA, according to a story from Dow Jones reporter Bill Tomson published Monday (subscription required).

The USDA banned planting of Clearfield CL131 rice that was apparently contaminated by an unapproved strain of genetically modified rice. The ban applies to seeds produced in 2005-2007.

Now the USDA is moving toward a food safety assessment for the unapproved rice. "We're still coordinating with the (Food and Drug Administration) to get some sort of determination ... on safety," USDA Under Secretary Bruce Knight said.

In the meantime, there's no prohibition on allowing grain from those seeds into the food supply.

Thomas Sim, a director at USDA's Biotechnology Regulatory Services, told Dow Jones any material "not intended for seed" and "in the channels to be milled" will not be affected by the ban. The rice produced last year from Clearfield CL131 seeds is not distinguishable at the mills.