Genetically modified crops, California, Missouri, Farmers, pharmaceutical crop

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Farmers in California and Missouri have one thing in common- opposition to the production of genetically modified (GM) "pharma" crops.' A pharmaceutical crop, or "pharma" crop, is a plant that has been genetically altered so that it produces proteins which are used as drugs. Pharmaceutical companies can then harvest the crop and isolate the proteins, which may be used to make human or veterinary drugs. Farmers' fears include a variety of health and environmental hazards; in particular, they fear contamination of their regular crops and the associated market loss. These concerns surfaced in both states where Ventria Bioscience announced plans for production of pharma rice.