Food & Drink All you can eat

News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

Want some human genes with that rice?

The folks at Anheuser-Busch sure don't. Last week, the nation's largest brewer and buyer of rice announced it would boycott rice from Missouri if the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows Ventria Biosciences to grow genetically modified crops in the state. Ventria wants to enhance rice with synthetic human genes to produce proteins it hopes could combat diarrhea and dehydration. Anheuser-Busch Cos., the first major company to threaten a boycott over the issue, is concerned that genetically altered rice could cross-pollinate with other food crops, thereby contaminating the regular food chain.

A report released last week by the Texas Public Interest Group highlighted this and other potential risks associated with genetically engineered crops, as well as the issue's scope. According to the report, the USDA has authorized more than 47,000 field tests of genetically engineered crops since 1987. Hawaii leads the nation with 5,413 field test sites, and Texas comes in ninth with 1,494. Lately, companies such as Ventria have ramped up efforts to test crops that produce drugs; the number of such requests increased from 22 in 2003 to 55 in 2004. These numbers concern TexPIRG Field Organizer Stephanie Carter. "There is a huge experiment being conducted in the open environment," Carter said recently at a Twin Sisters gathering, "and we're the guinea pigs." `See "The bad seed" March 31-April 6, 2005.`

SA Current Online

All you can eat
News and notes from San Antonio's food scene

In the blink of an eye

Things ain't what they used to be on Fredericksburg Road. The space formerly occupied by LAN's Indochine restaurant, 2901 Fredericksburg, is now Diego's Burritos. And a few blocks down at 1822 Fredericksburg, what was once a counterfeit Blanco Café is now Julio's Tacos. Can Gary's Quesadillas be far behind?

Jim's Watch, Day 14

All quiet on the Western Front this week. No word from Frontier on the rumored transition of the Hildebrand and San Pedro location into a café & coffee bar. With the new black awnings, it's hard to see exactly what's going on inside - next time, we'll bring binoculars. If you have information regarding the Jim's transformation, call "Jims Watch" at 227-0044.

Compiled by Aaron Block

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