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Budweiser Vetos Genetically Modified Rice 142

Posted by timothy
from the squeeze-in-a-cheap-shot dept.
fishdan writes "Anheuser-Busch the makers of Budweiser and other beers, has stated that they will not buy rice from Missouri if genetically modified crops are allowed in the state. Budweiser is claimed to be the best selling beer in the world Bud Light is the second best selling. I wonder about the stats of Tsing Tao I'm not sure what they're afraid of from genetically modified rice. Do they think their beer could get any worse?"
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Budweiser Vetos Genetically Modified Rice

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  • Rice? (Score:2, Funny)

    by turtled (845180)
    Who cares when you are gettin drunk and watching the race!?
    • Somewhere in the Far East a Sake drinker has heard of this and thought "Hmmm, getting drunk on the alcohol from the fermented rice and then getting stoned on the drugs the rice makes" then .... [ring, ring] ... "Yes, I'm calling about your genetically modified rice, do you accept mail-orders with overseas destinations? These would be *large* orders, definitely worth your while..."
  • by feandil (873841) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:38PM (#12225725)
    there are plenty of people in the world who do not want anything to do with biotech food or drinks, so if it was known that budweiser contain GMO their sales would plummet in the world, especially in europe.
    • I don't drink beer, so I don't have first-hand experience on the matter, but to hear all the jokes about US beer (e.g., "How is American Beer like making love in a canoe?", from Monty Python's Live at the Hollywood Bowl), I'm surprised the overseas market for Budweiser is that large. Is this one of those cases where people complain about how bad a product is, and then they buy it anyway?

    • What are you talking about? No self respecting European would dring Budwiser! (Bud Spencer aside)

      And it is definatly a sorry state to the world where the most drank beer in the world is Budwiser. But if all you want is to get drunk -- I guess it works.

      If you want to enjoy the beer...no.
    • by sfjoe (470510) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:32PM (#12226318)

      Beer isn't the only thing. California has banned GM rice because the largest consumer of California rice is Japan and they will NOT buy GM rice.
      Personally, I haven't made up my mind one way or another. However, having been lied to any number of times by people whose only motivation is profit, the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt is on the corporations.
    • I like budwiser, the original Czech one [budvar.cz] of course :)
    • their sales would plummet in the world, especially in europe.

      Why would Europeans drink Bud? Got to be the worst beer in the world - something like sex in a canoe. The only people in Europe that would regularly consume Bud would be USians visiting there - same as here in Aust where bugger-all people drink it because the local beers are so much better.

      Europe has hundreds of better (and funnily enough, cheaper) beers to choose from and any of them is better than the overpriced Bud.

      I can't see Bud sales

      • Get off your high horse. Plenty of Europeans are drinking Budweiser and other American brands. It just goes to show that beer snobs can be found in every country, while the common man drinks what he pleases.
        • Bah high horse? Sorry, US beer (particularly Bud and Miller) is crap compared to practically everything else. The only examples of beers around the same standard I can think of are Fosters and VB.

          There are plenty of American (not from the US) beers. Please be careful in your terminology. Some of the South American and beers are great - I tried some years ago.

          Your comment shows you to be very American. I know plenty of Europeans who wouldn't dare touch US beer on account of it's overpriced muddy water
    • Why would any europeans drink budweiser? I was under the impression that seppos only drank it coz it was often the only choice.
  • All the nascar fans will acquire the powers of, hmm, rice. Whenever they get drunk, they will become tasty and irresistable to asians.
  • Beer? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:43PM (#12225779) Homepage Journal
    All this time I thought Buddweiser only sold water!
    • Americans drink beery, watery-tasting piss.
      Canadians drink watery, beery-tasting piss.
      Aussies drink anything with alcohol in it.
      • If you consider budweiser watery-tasting piss, that's the best compliment I have ever heard.

        To seriously like budweiser, you'd have to be ULTRA PATRIOTIC with no tongue. And prefer the taste of battery acid + rubbing alcohol.

        • I, for one, hail our new Tongueless Ultra Patriotic Overlords.

          Mandatory Battery Acid + Isopropyl Alcohol drinks for everyone! Huzzah!

    • ... you buy it in Canada. Budweiser brewed in Canada is brewed by Molson (I think... or Labatts)... using Molson's techniques. In a recent taste test, 3 out of 5 people couldnt tell Canadian beer from Budweiser brewed in Canada. 5 out of 5 knew EXACTLY when they had tasted the American Bud.

      I just think it's funny that Budweiser, knowing that not a single damn Canadian would buy THEIR Beer, just brew Canadian beer and stick it in Bud cans. There's a metaphor there, but I can't quite get a grip on it.

  • All these companies are all up in arms about genetically altered crops. But my question is does it taste any different? I bet that if no one said anything, nobody would even be able to tell the different. If genetically modifying rice allows the rice to grow better, and faster, then so be it, people are thirsty out there, and this can help.
    Actually after reading this, I could really go for a beer right now.
  • They are afraid... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jangobongo (812593) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:46PM (#12225816)
    I'm not sure what they're afraid of from genetically modified rice.

    They are afraid that they will lose customers. Since the public has not made up its mind as to whether genetically modified foods are safe to ingest, Budweiser does not want to alienate anyone who purchases their products.

    Remember, people are afraid of the unknown. "Will it cause cancer?", "Am I going to turn into a mutant??", etc.
    • by moof1138 (215921) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:15PM (#12226138)
      This has nothing to do with cancer fears or even GM food. The modified rice is genetically enhanced with synthetic human genes to produce lactoferrin and lysozyme, which are intended to be used in medicines so they would be very likely affect someone who consumed them. They are afraid that the modified rice could cross pollinate with standard rice. It is well known that pollen can travel large distances, so the possibility of contamination is very real and could in theory have serious negative consequences. It may be that their concerns are unfounded, but that is really something that only an expert could make the call on.
      • I agree with the stated information and have some other information to include... Even if there is cross pollinization from the GM rice, the resultant rice from this year's crop would contain only the parent's rice plant's attributes rather than that of the pollenizing parent. I would contain the next crop's genetic formulation. I believe the potential (sales) hazard would be in next year's (or next crop depending on the climate and how many crops per year are grown) crop as the new genetic material is expr
      • AFAIK lactoferrin and lysozyme are both in production by every single person who would be able to read this sentence. Lactoferrin and lysozyme are really nothing but enzymes that kill bacteria that are already found in our spit, snot, tears, and just about any other mucus that comes from our bodies. I wonder why they would produce these enzymes in rice for consumption because the instant they would hit the stomach (with a pH ~2) the protiens would denature and be rendered into useless macromolecules. A mo
      • We're talking about an entire industry based around selling toxins to people. Alcohol is a poison. They don't give a fuck about consequences of GM rice on a moral level; they weighed the costs and benefits of advertising not using this rice, and then potentially not using it, as opposed to using it, and losing customers afraid of GM foods, or possibly having to pay settlements if such fears were to be realized.
    • The problem is not that Anheuser-Busch is worried about pissing off Europe. The problem is that a drug company wants to produce rice designed to create a drug in open fields. Anheuser-Busch doesn't want that rice to contaminate their rice.

      I am all for genetic engineering of pretty much everything, including things I stuff in my mouth. I don't think that genetic engineering is the boogie man. I don't even care if genetic strains blow to the wind and cross pollinate... so long as there is nothing in them
      • Re:Not Exactly (Score:3, Interesting)

        by glesga_kiss (596639)
        I am all for genetic engineering of pretty much everything, including things I stuff in my mouth... [snip] ...so long as there is nothing in them that could potentially be harmful.

        And thanks to you (and your children), we'll all know if they are harmful in about 10/20 years. There have been many things hailed as harmless by the companies hawking them; absbestos, Thalidomide (v. nasty), tobacco blah blah blah. They are just molecules, now we're talking genes. God, how often do we hear of the "unknown long

    • What? You think finding out budweiser is made out of rice instead of malted barley, hops, water and yeast isn't a major disincentive? Before we even start thinking about the specifics of the ingredients origin, we should make sure we're actually using ingredients that are supposed to be in beer, not fried up in a wok.

      This is beer! Beer is not made from rice. Foolish american brewers.
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @02:56PM (#12225920)
    I see a clever new business opportunity here:

    GenetiBrau: the Beer made from 100% genetically modified ingredients!

    (I'd drink it.)
  • Life is not all genetically modified skittles and beer you know!
  • No. 1 buyer of rice as well as its largest brewer, says it won't buy rice from Missouri if genetically modified, drug-making crops are allowed to be grown in the state.

    It isn't that they don't want any gm rice to be grown in Missouri. They are concerned about contamination from rice designed to grow drugs. If drugs got into their beer then they would have some serious problems.
    • If drugs got into their beer then they would have some serious problems.



      You got your drugs in my beer!

      You got your beer on my drugs!

      Now you can have both! Two great highs that go great together!

      There's no wrong way to drink a Reese's.
    • Even though the taste is bad, their beer-soda sells pretty good and they need to maintain the reproducibility of the manufacturing procedure so they do not to want fiddle with the ingredients. Besides, it is a good marketing ploy. (Some time ago, Bud had an large ad campain emphasizing that they never use any preservatives - like benzoate - in their beer. Which is fair enough except that no brewery does that either.)
    • If drugs got into their beer then they would have some serious problems.

      Wait, what was the point of beer again? I'd say the big problems would start if the drugs somehow got left out.

  • by gvc (167165) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:06PM (#12226048)
    Where I come from, beer is made from barley, hops, yeast and water.

    Not rice, corn or potatoes.
    • Yeah, and you probably think a Martini only contains Gin, Vermouth and an olive. Damn purists, not letting the rest of us destroy their favorite concoctions by bastardizing the name with any ingredients we wish. Next you'll tell me This stuff [tasteyoulove.com] isn't butter, but there it is, right in the name you fascist!
    • by Guido von Guido (548827) on Thursday April 14, 2005 @01:06AM (#12230912)
      How did this get modded informative? First, even the Germans make plenty of wheat beer. Last I checked, malted wheat ain't barley.

      Second, the quality of the finished product has little to do with whether or not the brewer uses rice, corn or potatoes. Budweiser sucks because they use less malt and hops than in a traditional pilsner, and because they go to extraordinary efforts to remove whatever flavor they do add to the beer.

      For that matter, I've had some excellent beers made with all three of your verboten grains (yes, including potatoes), and some of the best beers in the world are made with added sugar.

      For an example of a classic beer made with corn, check out the Classic American Pilsner [brewingtechniques.com]. This is a style of beer brewed in America before Prohibition, and which was revived in large part through the efforts of homebrewer Jeff Renner. Unfortunately, it is true that there aren't any good commercial examples.

      • Note to moderators: The parent post speaks wisdom. Please mod up.

        I brew my own beer too. Adjuncts can be anything starchy. Don't forget that many brewers often add honey, molassas, even lactose for interesting taste effects.

        The key factor is that none of these ingredients should be a major constituent of the beer. In other words, you should be preparing beer, not mead; so don't go overboard on the honey.

        Also, the use of hops is relatively recent. Beer recipies have been found in the oldest records k
  • by tOaOMiB (847361) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:08PM (#12226059)
    Please do note that this is not a story about Budweiser not using GMO. In fact, there is nothing that says they are even against GM rice--just rice being modified to produce drugs grow outside, where it can potentially crosspollinate with rice meant for consumption. While the summary states that Anheuser-Busch "will not buy rice from Missouri if genetically modified crops are allowed in the state," the article clearly states they "won't buy rice from Missouri if genetically modified, drug-making crops are allowed to be grown in the state."

    The trolling summary then continues on with links to the popularity of Bud and the uprising Tsing Tao for no obvious reason.
    • by booch (4157)
      I think he must have been thinking that Tsing Tao must sell more beer than Budweiser, because it's the best-selling Chinese beer, and there are 4 times as many Chinese people as Americans. Poor logic.

      And it's also quite false. Tsingtao [tsingtaobeer.com] only has 12% of the Chinese beer market, while Anheuser-Busch has a 50% share of the US market. And Americans drink quite a bit more beer per capita than the Chinese [chinaexpertnet.com] -- the Chinese beer market just recently surpassed the US market. A-B sells over 100 million barrels of beer

    • I have to agree with you. I'm normally not against GM food. Heck, humans have been genetically modifying food the old-fashioned way (cross-breeding, hybridization) for thousands of years. But when you're using GM modified plants to create pharmaceutical products, you're no longer talking about food.

      The biggest problem I see with GM plants is the cross-pollination problem. Crop A is for human consumption, and has been growing fine. Crop B is growing some new rat poison. Crop A gets cross-pollinated by Crop
    • In fact, there is nothing that says they are even against GM rice--just rice being modified to produce drugs grow outside, where it can potentially crosspollinate with rice meant for consumption.

      Yes, Budweiser hasn't said "no GMOs", they're afraid of this particular crop.

      That's true.

      But every single one of these damned GM plants that have been deployed have cross-pollenated and caused problems. Monsanto's wheat being the most eggregious example.

      I'm absolutely terrified by all of this stuff, because it

  • by scupper (687418) * on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:09PM (#12226067) Homepage
    what Anheuser-Busch thinks of it's customers, about who they see as their potential new customers, and how they approach advertising to them.

    They are fearful, not of the average white american's reaction to GM rice, but of the reaction from Hispanics, who are coming from agrarian cultures, and are doubly suspicious of any gm agri products, especially corn and rice.

    Hispanics also represent the fastest growing group of drinkers of "Bud".
  • by wertarbyte (811674) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @03:17PM (#12226154) Homepage
    I don't know which scenario is scarier: modified rice, or rice in a beer!?
    • I know of a few people who are fans of tsing tao [tsingtaobeer.com], but I personally think it tastes quite rank.
    • Big US breweries switched to using rice in their mash during WW2 to appeal to the predominately female population and because of grain rationing. When the war ended, they found it was cheaper just to continue to use rice.

      The microbrew craze a while back has become popular almost soley due to the fact that they're using "traditional" ingredients like malt to make a more robust tasting beer - like we used to drink.
    • The Asians seem to like it.

      Its called sake (Sah-kee). Pretty strong stuff for the most part.

      http://www.sake-world.com/html/rice.html [sake-world.com]
      • No, that's much more like a wine, and it's served hot.
        • It is called "rice wine" but that is incorrect.

          Wine is fermented fruit juice. Apple wine, peach wine, grape wine.

          Beer is fermented grain.

          If you take you beer and distal it, you get whisky.

          Rice is a grain. Thus, fermented rice is beer.
          • hokay, if you want to be pedantic - (a) I said it was like wine; (b) beer has hops in it, you're thinking of ale; (c) "wine" comes from a Latin root which only covers grapes, not other fruits.

            Now go and compare sake and a rice "beer" and you'll see that they are very different drinks.

        • my favorite [gekkeikan-sake.com] sake (because i can find it for $4 a bottle) is best at room temperature. there are many variaties of sake which are best cold. point is, careful with that microwave. you might ruin a sake by warming it.
  • Geez ... another reason not to drink Budweiser so called beer. I still prefer real beer brewed following the Reinheitsgebot [wikipedia.org]. No other stuff ... certainly not rice. If you wanna use rice.. call it something else.
  • It's true that there are over four times as many Chinese people as Americans; however, please bear in mind that the average American is over five times more massive than the average Chinese (even more if you don't grant them Yao's contribution!), and it logically follows that we consume more beer.

    Of course, me being the sympathetic soul that I am, I try to do my part to level the playing field for our Chinese friends by not drinking Budweiser.

  • Maybe their ad agency balked at having to rewrite for their new motto:

    "We use only the finest barrley mall*t, ryce*, hopps*, yeest*, and water."
  • Since... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Louse (610514)
    GMO = sick.sick.sick. natural foods/meats and their cultivation are the keystones to human-thought evolution. Modifying them isnt part of cultivation, it's bastardizing an organism's growth process for profit. Plants/animals function in periods of seasons, and to try and alter that effects the nature of the plants ability to mature - which can deminish the amount of nutrients in the organism, and its consumer.
    • Re:Since... (Score:3, Insightful)

      natural foods/meats and their cultivation are the keystones to human-thought evolution.

      Are they? I've been eating processed foods all my life and I can still think. On the other hand I haven't evolved recently so maybe you have a point.

      Modifying them isnt part of cultivation

      That's an uninteresting semantic quibble.

      it's bastardizing an organism's growth process

      Emotional language like this suggests you've retired your ability to actually think.

      for profit.

      What does that have to do with it? Why d

  • Simple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Real men drink only Real beer, not some suped up, GMO'd, fancy-pants lab engineered, hyper-modern Monsonto @!$#%. PERIOD
  • 1. Beer should not contain rice.

    2. It's debatable wether Budweiser is beer in the first place.
  • > I'm not sure what they're afraid of from
    > genetically modified rice.

    They are afraid that the anti-GM loons will launch a scare campaign about how drinking Bud will cause your kids to have three eyes.
  • I can't stand people who say bud/bud light/<insert american beer name here> doesn't taste like beer. Please realize that taste is subjective. Most people that I have met do not like the taste of beer and thus bud/bud light is a great choice for them when they do drink beer. It is also a good beer when you just want to drink a large quantity because it is not nearly as heavy as most "good" beers. Personally I am a fan of some American beers such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Samual Adams Boston Lager.
  • Obviously, AB is worried that cross-pollination will occur in to rice used for Budweiser. Once the cross-pollination occurs, mutations will take place, causing Budweiser drinkers' IQs to double, making them too smart to drink swill like that :-)
  • Anheuser-Busch, Ventria settle biotech rice dispute
    Sacramento Business Journal - 1:10 PM PDT Monday
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/200 5 /04/18/daily7.html [bizjournals.com]

    Local biotech company Ventria Bioscience has agreed to plant genetically modified rice at least 120 miles away from other rice fields in Missouri, defusing a showdown with brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., which had said it would not buy Missouri rice if biotech rice was grown in the state.

    Sacramento-based Ventria, which faced

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