Buffer quells beer giant's GM-contamination fears, ends boycott

April 19, 2005: Just three days after boldly announcing it would not purchase rice from Missouri if the state continues with plans to allow genetically modified rice, Anheuser-Busch agreed to a compromise. Citing fears of contamination, Anheuser-Busch, the country’s largest rice buyer created quite a stir last week when it announced it would boycott its home state’s rice crop if Sacramento-based Ventria Bioscience was allowed to plant rice that had been enhanced with synthetic human genes. A compromise reached Saturday ended the short lived threat. Ventria has agreed to move its planting sites to the southwest part of the state, at least 120 miles from the rice-growing region. Ventria is testing rices spliced with genes to produce the proteins lactoferrin and lysozyme. The proteins will then be used in medicines to combat deadly forms of diarrhea.

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