Barbara Peterson

December 5, 2013

Rising to new heights of denial, in 2006, Bayer CropScience responded that the contamination of conventional rice by its experimental, unapproved GMO variety was an “act of God.”

Bayer conducted field tests of LL601 from 1999 to 2001 in Louisiana, then dropped the project without seeking government approval to market it. This year, LL601 was found to be widespread in U.S. long-grain rice, prompting Europe to cut off imports and throwing the rice futures market into turmoil.

Denying any culpability, the Bayer response variously blames the escape of its gene-altered variety of long-grain race, LL601, on “unavoidable circumstances which could not have been prevented by anyone”; “an act of God”; and farmers’ “ownnegligence, carelessness, and/or comparative fault.”

Farmers bought supposedly non-GMO seeds, and planted them. The resultant crop was found to be contaminated with the experimental variety. The contamination appears to have originated in the purchased seed. This means that the contamination issue is so widespread that no company dealing in conventional seed can claim that its seed stocks are GMO free.  In fact, in the midst of the GMO Alfalfa contamination issue, Forage Genetics, supplier of the seed, and the USDA stated that up to 2% contamination should be expected and dismissed complaints out of hand. An “act of God,” evidently.Read the rest of this entry »