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[SANET-MG] corporation website promoting plant biopharmaceutical production
The article and web site below are promotion for plant
biopharmaceutical production and testing. they continue the fiction
that barley is not grown commercially in Iowa while the information I
supplied earlier from Iowa extension notes that barley and oats are
primary spring planted grain crops in Iowa. Earlier I circulated
another article from Nature Biotechnology suggesting that biotechnology
is a new religion. The web site above seems to represent the Taliban of
Biotech firm seeks friendlier fields afar
This article explains how Ventria Bioscience is planting a tiny test
crop of barley in Iowa. It has been genetically engineered to grow
lactoferrin, one of the same drug compounds the company has been growing
in test plots of rice.
The company chose Iowa because barley is not grown commercially there -
a consideration that didn't prevent it from pursuing pharmaceutical rice
production in California.
"That is ... really a bonus," CEO Scott Deeter said of the barley-free
He also cited Iowa's "streamlined and efficient regulatory process" and
the "strong support of a very productive agriculture region" as reasons
for choosing Iowa. The field test is on a plot just five-one-hundredths
of an acre in size, according to a federal database.
In California, Ventria ran into trouble this spring with plans to ramp
up production of rice genetically engineered to produce lactoferrin and
another common human protein, lysozyme. The company wants to use them in
products to treat severe dehydration.
Opposition mostly stemmed from fears about the impact that
pharmaceutical rice could have on the state's $500 million rice
industry, especially with Asian buyers who reject biotech rice.
Those concerns became public earlier this year during a unique
California rice industry review of Ventria's plans. A 2000 state law
gives the industry the right to put conditions on new varieties of rice
that could affect the existing strains.
That monthslong process is not done, but it's unclear whether Ventria
even wants to keep doing business in California, where it's been opposed
by rice growers and organic-farming activists activists.
A federal database of biotech field tests shows that the company had
approval for 93 acres of its "pharma" rice in California in 2003. This
year, it's down to 1 acre and Deeter said he's unsure about next year.
"We are really going through a full evaluation of different locations,"
Like every other state, Iowa lacks the kind of review available to
California rice growers.
"We are kind of staying neutral on this," said Machelle Shaffer,
spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
Iowa defers to a secretive federal sign-off process for biotech crops
that typically does not involve public comment and shields many company
documents from public view.
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