The USDA has finally reacted to the contamination of the U.S. rice supply by an unapproved, genetically engineered variety of rice created by the Bayer Corporation. Three weeks ago, it was discovered that Bayer's mutant rice, gene-spliced to survive heavy doses of a powerful herbicide called glufosinate, had contaminated U.S. long grain rice stocks. The USDA admitted it had "no idea" how extensive the contamination was. Meanwhile Japan has banned all U.S. rice imports, while the EU is rejecting U.S. imports that test positive for contamination. The rice industry has been in a state of upheaval, with rumors of a massive market recall spreading across the country. This week, the USDA announced its plan of action: instead of recalling this illegal, and potentially unsafe rice, it is working with Bayer to fast-track the approval process. "Illegal, potentially hazardous rice in grain bins, on supermarket shelves, in cereal, beer, baby foods, and all rice products. It should be a no-brainer. Recall this stuff to make sure no one eats it," said Joseph Mendelson, Legal Director of the Center for Food Safety. "Instead, USDA plans to rush through 'market approval' of a genetically engineered rice that Bayer itself decided was unfit for commerce. Why? To free Bayer
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