Well wouldn’t we be absorbing micro-DNA from non GM food too? In fact genetically engineered crops could be designed to make the foods safer.
The good news?
Some experts speculate that the ability of plant microRNA to affect human cellular behavior might be a way to partially explain the effectiveness of herbal medicine. Beyond vitamin, minerals, and other components of herbs, might it be possible that genetic information in the plant comes preprogrammed to tell certain cells how to initiate healing? In the Nanjing University study, for example, researchers noted that rice microRNA consistently ended up in human liver cells where it interacted with cell DNA to change how cells used cholesterol.
...Dr. Garry Gordon, another pioneer interviewed in Mavericks of Medicine, thinks discoveries about microRNA may someday lead to diets and food choices that can target risk for specific diseases. We can make foods that will actually lower your risk of ever getting Alzheimer's even if both your mother and fathers side had the disease...Knowledge is the gene testing, and we can modulate genes by getting appropriate natural products like RNA foods.
But the not good news?
According to the article in The Atlantic entitled, "The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods", the study may inadvertently reveal a pathway by which genetically modified (GM or GMO) foods influence human health. In other words, if we eat corn that has genetic information telling it to act as its own pesticide, how will this plants microRNA behave in the human body? What about other examples of frankenfoods: vegetables with scorpion genes; tomatoes with flounder genes; and potatoes with jellyfish genes that glow when they need to be watered? What kind of microRNA do these GMO foods contain and how will these affect our genes?
If this kind of absorption occurs, then yes--we would be absorbing micro-RNA from all the food we eat.
The presence of viruses in our genome is well established. As far as I know, there is no evidence of plant nucleic acids in our genome. I am highly skeptical of this claim, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, rice is cooked. In the lab, cooking for prolonged periods at high temperatures is a method of killing nucleic acids. The other reason is that RNA is exquisitely unstable, far more than DNA. Working with RNA is a real pain, because of all the precautions necessary to keep it from being destroyed. Your mouth, hands, and bodily fluids all contain RNA destroying agents. I question how any RNA could survive the digestive and circulatory systems to even have an effect on cells.
One possibility here is simple contamination, where the researchers were not careful with their samples, and the samples got mixed. So, where they thought they were detecting rice microRNAs in human liver tissue, they were actually detecting cross-contamination between samples. This could happen from something as simple as forgetting to change a pipette tip between samples, or from accidentally grabbing the wrong tube.