The most mysterious case of genetically engineered guests showing up, uninvited and unwelcome, in farmers’ fields just got more mysterious this week.
There's no genetically engineered rice for sale in the U.S., but tests of conventional rice seed, starting more than a year ago, have found traces of three separate genetically engineered strains.
The latest case, announced by the USDA this week, hit just as farmers began spring planting in Louisiana.
The case shows just how difficult it is to prevent the spread of genes, or seeds, from one field to another. In rice, the cases of contamination have shut down rice exports to Europe and forced seed companies to take two popular rice varieties off the market.
What everybody in the rice industry wants to know is, How how did genetically engineered plants end up in stocks of conventional seeds?