GM rice farce continues (27/9/2006)

1.The GM rice farce continues - The Guardian
2.False GM-free certification for US rice - Greenpeace
3.EFET alert for GM rice - Kathimerini (Greece)

1.Unpolished rice
David Adam, Eco soundings
The Guardian, September 27 2006

The GM rice farce continues. Weeks after illegal contamination of US supplies with an unapproved experimental GM variety was highlighted, European authorities have revealed that it has arrived on our shores. Campaigners are outraged and, while the Food Standards Agency and others are quick to point out there is no risk to health, those reassuring words are slightly undermined by the fact that the contaminated shipments were originally certified as GM free. Get your acts together, folks.

2.False GM-free certification for US rice

Greenpeace: EU should stop all rice imports from US http://www.greenpeace.eu/issues/news.html#060921_a

Brussels, 21 September 2006 - Commenting on today's revelation of contaminated unauthorised GM rice in a shipment from the US to Europe that had been declared GM-free, Greenpeace calls on the European Commission not only to ask all EU member states to block long-grain rice imports from the US with or without GM-free certification, but also to let the US authorities know that no more imports of US rice will be allowed into Europe until the US authorities have established a trustworthy certification scheme and ensured that the contamination in the US has been contained.

The integrity and credibility of the entire EU food safety system is at stake and should be defended against a possible strategy of contamination by the biotechnology industry.

If the US authorities are not able to ensure that US rice exports are free of contamination with unauthorised - and therefore illegal - GMOs, they should themselves block the exports also for the sake of their own credibility. This is what the EU did with UK-produced beef during the BSE crisis. This is what credible authorities do.

Notes to editor

The unauthorised GM rice in question is LL601, a variety developed by Bayer and tested in open field trials in the US. The company decided subsequently not to proceed with development and never obtained authorisation for this rice in the US. No GM rice has been authorised in the EU.

For more information, please contact:

Jorgo Riss, director, Greenpeace European Unit, tel +32 (0)2 274 1907 Katharine Mill, media officer, Greenpeace European Unit, tel +32 (0)2 274 1903

3.EFET alert for GM China rice
Kathimerini, September 27 2007

Food authorities are conducting strict checks on the market in order to detect any genetically modified rice that has been illegally imported into the country, President of the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) Ioannis Vlemmas told Kathimerini yesterday.

Vlemmas said that about 20 tons of the rice had been smuggled into Greece throughout 2006 but has since been pulled off supermarket shelves.

The head of EFET was responding to calls from the environmental group Greenpeace to speed up checks on the food market.

Greenpeace accused EFET of being slow and said that it takes about a month for control mechanisms to roll into action from when the order is given.

The environmental group also called on EFET to publish the methods it intends to use to keep a watch out for GMO rice in Greece as a means of protecting consumers.

Genetically modified Chinese rice has also been detected in France, Germany, England, Holland and Belgium.

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