Last summer, anti-biotech activists went into a tizzy over the "contamination" of American rice by an experimental variety. Regulators in Japan and Europe considered banning rice imports from the US and began testing all rice shipments for the errant gene. Now the US Department of Agriculture has officially given the all-clear for the variety. According to the Washington Post:
The USDA said Friday that its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service decided to deregulate the experimental long-grain rice after a review of scientific evidence indicated it was as safe as its traditionally bred counterparts.
After all, why not? It's not as though the gene codes for snake venom or cyanide. Again according to the Post:
The company said regulators have found that the protein in its herbicide-tolerant rice varieties, including LLRICE601, poses no human health or environmental concern. The protein has been approved for food use in a number of crops by regulators in Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, the United States and other countries, the company said.
Earlier in this fake "crisis" I explained how some experts believe genetically modified crop traits should properly be regulated.