Posy git that I am, I prefer to serve curry with basmati rice and chili food with American rice. The stuff keeps for ages, after all, so it doesn’t matter much having two packets in the cupboard. But recently the shelves at Sainsbury’s have been bare of American rice. Now I know why. According to The Independent there is a big kerfuffle about the presence of quantities of genetically modified rice in shipments from the US. What is more, our wonderful government has been making public noises about how supermarkets have a responsibility to make sure that the stuff doesn’t go on sale, while at the same time privately reassuring those same supermarkets that they won’t actually check up on them. The helpful Sunday Herald tells me that Sainsbury’s have stopped buying American rice entirely, and will even offer worried customers a full refund for returns.
The whole debate about GM foods has become so hysterical in the UK that I no longer know what to believe. You have some experts saying this stuff is perfectly safe, and others claiming it is a massive danger to public health. Who knows what the truth is? But what I’m wondering is this: most American rice, as far as I’m aware, comes from California. Does anyone back there know they are being accused of poisoning innocent Brits?