Wild Rice: The Minnesota Legislature, a Distinctive Crop, GMOs, and Ojibwe Perspectives

Rachel Kurkee Walker, Jill Doerfler

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This 26 page legal brief summarizes the history of treaty law, political debate, legislation in Minnesota related to wild rice, as well as the industry position (especially for Monsanto). The LEXISNEXIS Summary is reproduced below: “ ... Monsanto has never thought about engineering wild rice. ... History of Wild Rice Legislation in Minnesota In the 2005 legislative session, the Minnesota Senate tabled S.F. 1566, a version of the "wild rice bill" that prohibited the release and sale of genetically engineered wild rice in Minnesota. ... These explanations discount the legal realities of American Indian sovereignty and treaty-secured resource management, as well as the significance of the rights of sovereign nations to preserve Ojibwe identity and livelihood. ... From approximately the 1950s, with the introduction of cultivated wild rice and an increase in national and international market sales, some non-Indians grew increasingly interested in participating in wild rice cultivation and harvest. ... The following quotations from legislators during legislative hearings in 2006 and 2007 and from cultivated wild rice marketing companies capture some of the sentiments that non-Indian Minnesotans have with respect to both cultivating and eating wild rice: I am supporting this legislation because it is about wild rice and wild rice alone. ... At this point, we look briefly at the political and economic context of crop biotechnology in 2007 as it relates to this legislation. ... On March 31, 2007, the United States rice industry declared it wanted the federal government to reject a plan to grow genetically modified rice in Kansas, saying the country's growers would suffer "financial devastation" if modified crops contaminate the commercial supply.”
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Minnesota
StatePublished - 2009


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