A threat pays off. Anheuser-Busch had threatened to stop buying rice from growers in the Bootheel if a California-based company went ahead with plans to plant genetically modified rice in that part of the state. Ventria Bioscience plans to genetically engineer rice to produce human proteins for use in drugs. It has agreed to amend its application with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to plant its rice at least 120 miles away from southeast Missouri’s prime rice growing areas. Anheuser-Busch had expressed concern that the genetically engineered rice had not been declared safe for consumption and that it might have come into contact with conventional rice.