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[SANET-MG] chinese export rice found to be GM polluted
Gene-altered rice from China found in EU
REUTERS, Sep 5 2006
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European consumers are at risk from unauthorized
genetically modified (GMO) rice grown in China after evidence of a
strain was found in Britain, France and Germany, environment group
Greenpeace said on Tuesday.
The Chinese rice, modified to resist certain insects, was found in
samples of rice stick noodles in France and Germany, and also in rice
vermicelli in Britain, Greenpeace said, citing the results of two rounds
of laboratory tests.
Its report did not indicate the possible quantities involved but said
the GMO rice had been detected in different product brands found in
Asian Specialty stores and Asian restaurants.
"Innocent consumers again become the victims of the GE (genetic
engineering) industry's 'contamination first' strategy," Greenpeace
International GMO campaigner Jeremy Tager said in a statement.
The Chinese rice contained a protein that might cause allergenic
reactions in humans, he said. It was supposed to be used only in field
trials and was not approved for commercial growing because of concerns
about its safety.
The discovery of the experimental rice comes just a few weeks after the
European Union tightened requirements on U.S. long-grain imports to
prove the absence of another biotech rice type detected in samples
intended for commercial use.
The EU does not yet permit the sale, import or marketing of any biotech
rice on the territory of its 25 member countries.
"Once illegal GE crops are in the food chain, removing them takes
enormous effort and cost. It is easier to prevent contamination in the
first place," Tager said.
Last month, the EU-25 tightened requirements on U.S. long-grain rice
imports to prove the absence of the GMO strain LL Rice 601 marketed by
Germany's Bayer AG and produced in the United States.
The EU decision followed the discovery by U.S. authorities of trace
amounts of LL Rice 601, engineered to resist a herbicide, in long-grain
samples targeted for commercial use.
European consumers are well known for their wariness over GMO foods, but
the biotech industry says its products are perfectly safe and are no
different to conventional foods.
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