1.Rice Recalled Over Gene Contamination - Washington Post
2. BASF Cooperates with USDA on CL131 Rice - BASF press release
DR BRIAN JOHN comment: It's emerged today that BASF (the breeders of the non-GM (rice) Clearfield 131 variety) is not best pleased with Bayer, having identified an "unknown" LL trait in samples that were being tested for LL62 contamination. The offending GM rice variety will be a discontinued line (of which there were many) -- and laboratories cannot identify it because Bayer has never submitted the details of the genetic makeup of any of these abandoned (and possibly very unstable and non-uniform) GM varieties. The worst possible scenario is that there are SEVERAL unidentified GM contaminant varieties out there, and that they will outcross into wild red rice.
EXTRACT: On March 1, 2007, BASF notified USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of independent laboratory test findings on 2005 CL131 registered rice seed that indicated the presence of LibertyLink GM events, but tested negative for LL62 or LL601 - suggesting the presence of an unidentified and possibly [un?]regulated GM event. BASF is working with the USDA in an effort to identify the unknown event. (item 2)
1.Rice Recalled Over Gene Contamination
Rick Weiss, Washington Post Staff Writer Washington Post, March 6 2007 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/05/AR2007030501744.html
The Agriculture Department last night took the unusual step of insisting that U.S. farmers refrain from planting a popular variety of long-grain rice because preliminary tests showed that its seed stock may be contaminated with a variety of gene-altered rice not approved for marketing in the United States
The announcement marks the third time in six months that U.S. rice has been found to be inexplicably contaminated with engineered traits, and it comes just weeks before the spring planting season
Adding to the potential disruption, the variety of rice affected is one that many farmers had planned to switch to this spring to avoid a different contaminated strain.
The new problem involves Clearfield CL131 seed, produced by BASF of Germany and marketed by Horizon Ag of Memphis. In an after-hours posting on the USDA Web site, agency officials did not say which unexpected genetic trait had been found in the rice.
In August, Cheniere rice was found to be contaminated with an herbicide-resistance gene that had been under study in 2001 but was never approved or brought to market. The discovery continues to disrupt U.S. rice exports, even though the trait won speedy approval in December.
2.Press Release: BASF Cooperates with USDA on CL131 Rice
BASF Corporation, 6 Mar 2007 http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,69916.shtml
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- BASF Agricultural Products announced today it is cooperating with the United States Department of Agriculture to remove all CLEARFIELD(R) CL131 rice from the marketplace following discovery that some of the seed has been contaminated by an unidentified genetically modified (GM) event. BASF is taking this action in conjunction with USDA's March 4 issuance of an Emergency Action Notification on CL131 variety seed. The order calls for no planting or distribution of CL131 seed.
CLEARFIELD is conventionally bred (non-GM) rice containing BASF technology that allows growers to control red rice and other tough weeds.
BASF asked for additional testing of CLEARFIELD rice following the recent discovery of trace amounts of LibertyLink(R) LL62 GM events in CLEARFIELD seed. LibertyLink technology is a product of Bayer CropScience. Ongoing testing of CL131 seed has been directed to detecting the presence of LL62, and another LibertyLink trait, LL601, both of which are deregulated and approved by federal authorities for human consumption.
On March 1, 2007, BASF notified USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of independent laboratory test findings on 2005 CL131 registered rice seed that indicated the presence of LibertyLink GM events, but tested negative for LL62 or LL601 - suggesting the presence of an unidentified and possibly regulated GM event. BASF is working with the USDA in an effort to identify the unknown event.
"BASF notified the USDA immediately after becoming aware of the laboratory findings and we continue to work cooperatively with USDA on this situation," said Andy Lee, Director of U.S. Business Operations, Crop Protection Products, for BASF. "BASF is steadfastly working to advance a clear and viable production environment for rice producers now and in future growing seasons."
BASF is in discussions with Bayer CropScience regarding technical assistance to expedite the identification of LL62, LL601 or other GM traits to help determine the scope and source of the GM presence in CLEARFIELD seed.
BASF remains firmly committed to CLEARFIELD technology and recognizes the substantial value that it offers rice producers. BASF is working with federal authorities and the seed industry to remove contamination from CLEARFIELD varieties as part of an ongoing responsible initiative to eliminate propagation of GM traits within those varieties.
Always read and follow label directions. CLEARFIELD is a registered trademark of BASF. LibertyLink is a registered trademark of Bayer CropScience.
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