Who's watching the Franken-crops?

In a press release last June, the anti-GMO watchdog group Center for Food Safety questioned the USDA’s oversight of tests involving genetically altered crops. The agency had just greenlighted a biotech company’s proposal to grow test plots of rice containing human genes on 270 acres in North Carolina and Missouri, right in the middle of large-scale conventional rice production. The press release quotes a CFS scientist thusly: With this approval, USDA has signaled that it thinks it’s okay to grow drug-producing crops near food crops of the same type, despite the threat of contamination … There have already been numerous examples of contamination of food crops by biotech crops, including pharmaceutical crops. Over time, such contamination of our food is virtually inevitable under the conditions allowed by USDA. The USDA brushed aside this complaint and plunged forward, asserting that it monitors such tests with all due care. According to a recently released internal USDA audit, though, the CFS had a point.

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