Saturday, November 25, 2006

USDA: Handing out controversial approvals

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Bayer's GM Rice got USDA approval in what some might term an insensitive and controversial manner. Bayer is currently embroiled in lawsuits over the leakage and contamination of its rice, which had prompted a European ban on US rice imports.

If the entire process of federal approvals is just to help the industry assert unpopular moves, the agencies would soon lose their credibility or what is left of it.

When the product of a company is under investigation for serious violations that have almost drowned an entire industry, it would be better not to hand down an "approval" for that very same product.

Yes, it may be so that the rice is harmless, but doesn't this set a bad precedent? This question seems to be on the minds of a lot of people.

This seems to only add to the controversy and smells really bad. The motivation for regulatory agencies should be to offer a balanced view, not to lean one way or the other on the suspicious people Vs. industry war of opinions.

Such approvals set a bad example, and further dim the trust people have on the agencies that were specifically created to allay fears.

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