USDA don't have a clue / France and Sweden find illegal GM rice (12/9/2006)

1.France and Sweden find illegal GM rice
2.GM food -- blessing or curse?
3.USDA don't have a clue

1.France and Sweden find illegal GM rice

France and Sweden have discovered traces of a an illegal GM substance in imported US rice, according to a European Commission source. (France, Sweden find banned GM traces in US rice - EU) http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/afx/2006/09/12/afx3009544.html


2.GM food -- blessing or curse?
Steve Dube
Western Mail (Farming Section), 12th August 2006:

Opinion is divided over whether genetically modified crops are a potential blessing or a new curse on farming and humanity.

Both sides are passionate, but no one knows the long term effects on the environment - or on the health of man or beast that eats GM food.

Few of us realise that most processed food and all non-organic commercial livestock feeds already contain GM material.

Now the Food Standards Agency admits that rice from America contaminated with an illegal gene has been on shop shelves across Europe since January.

The FSA says it may be illegal but it is safe to eat, although the developer, Bayer CropScience refuses to reveal why it abruptly stopped trials of the GM rice and buried all the seed five years ago.

The contamination, presumably from pollen, has made American rice unsaleable. The price has plummeted and farmers are suing Bayer.

In the face of a ruined GBP1bn American rice market, the authorities now want to legalise the rogue gene.

If that fails thousands of farmers in the country that provides 12% of the world's rice will have to find another way of earning a living.

3.US still gauging how much GMO rice entered market [ie they don't have a clue!]
by Christopher Doering
Reuters News Service, 12 September 2006 [shortened]

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday it is too soon to determine how much of an unapproved genetically modified rice strain has entered the food supply after tests in the European Union and Germany detected traces of the rice.

"We simply didn't have any way to gauge the extent to which this genetically engineered rice might be in the marketplace" when it was first discovered, said USDA chief spokeswoman Terri Teuber.

"In terms of where it might be and where it might not be I don't think USDA is equipped in any way to assess or predict where that might be."

USDA has said the department will get a better sense of how much genetically modified rice is out there through testing done by the marketplace.

The European Commission said on Monday the genetically modified rice known as LLRICE 601 was found in 33 out of 162 rice samples. Three bargeloads with a 20,000-tonne U.S. rice cargo detained in Rotterdam had tested positive, while 20 other bargeloads had tested negative.

In a separate round of tests, environmental group Greenpeace said the GMO rice found its way into the European Union's retail food sector and appeared for sale at branches of discount supermarket Aldi.

The Food and Drug Administration and USDA notified the public on Aug. 18 that testing by Bayer CropScience, a division of Bayer, found LLRICE 601 in rice bins in Arkansas and Missouri.

The finding led to Japan shutting down imports of U.S. long grain rice, and the European Union requiring certification that long grain rice from the United States is free of the unapproved crop.

The EU "has not indicated they would take a different course from that," said Teuber, who added USDA is in contact with all its rice trading partners.

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