Does anyone like beer? I do. Does anyone like beer with human proteins in it? Uh…
A proposal in Missouri to plant 200 acres of rice enhanced with synthetic human genes — a crop intended for medicinal uses — has Anheuser-Busch up in arms. The company is threatening to boycott all rice produced and processed in Missouri if the state OKs this latest “biopharming” venture.
If the project is approved, it would be the largest such in the country. Ventria, the company behind it, is relocating from California, due in part to opposition there. Missouri’s governor and Farm Bureau stand by the plan, despite a petition signed by 175 local farmers.
“Anheuser-Busch is a company that certainly uses technology for their product,” a spokeswoman for the Biotechnology Industry Organization told the Sacramento Bee (which painted Ventria as “tiny” and “hounded”). “It’s very disappointing to see them turning away from another technology.”
The logic of that argument aside (“hey! technology is technology!”), it raises an interesting point. God knows what they do to that beer — yet they draw the line here. That’s saying something.