Mexico still stopping GM rice imports / 4 types of GM contamination (30/3/2007)

1.Mexico search for GMO rice in US imports still on
2.Minimum of 4 different types of GM contamination in US rice

NOTE: Mexico's the biggest overseas market for US rice.


1.Mexico search for GMO rice in US imports still on
Reuters, March 29 2007

MEXICO CITY - Mexico will not let its guard down in the search for unauthorized genetically modified material in rice imports from the United States, a top government biosecurity official said on Tuesday.

Marco Antonio Meraz, who heads Mexico's biosecurity commission, said all shipments of US rice were required to show certification they contained no genetically modified material.

"Under our legislation genetic material must be authorized before entering the country," he said. Mexico permits no GMO rice strains.

He said health officials also were taking samples from some rice shipments to ensure exporters were telling the truth.

Meraz also said the government was in the final stages of analyzing a request by Bayer Cropscience to authorize its LLRICE62 strain of GMO rice.

"It is very probable this analysis is concluded quickly," Meraz told Reuters. "Once that is done, this material will be approved in Mexico."

Earlier this month, Mexico temporarily halted several US rice shipments at its border after the LLRICE601 strain contaminated the US commercial supply.

The United States and Mexico have been in talks over testing procedures and tolerance levels for genetically modified material in rice shipments.


2.Minimum of 4 different types of GM contamination in US rice

The following information comes from Dr Brian John:

Up to now, I have been rather uncertain about LL06. However, I now have confirmation from an inside source that it has been identified. So FOUR of the Bayer LL rice varieties have been discovered in US long-grain rice stocks. But not all have been announced by USDA -- and they are clearly involved in a very elaborate and carefully managed damage limitation exercise (the word "cover-up" might be more appropriate).

The problem with identification is that the genetic tests at the approved testing labs are set up using GM characterizations provided by Bayer in conjunction with the four LL traits known to be in the supply: LL601, LL62, LL06 and (most recently) LL604. What you do not know about, you cannot identify.

There is apparently still doubt about certain "mystery traits" -- some samples could contain GM traces which are:

1) actually fragments of one of the known LL traits,

2) LL traits not yet identified or revealed by Bayer, or

3) entirely new traits (coming, for example, from Monsanto RR rice).

There is still a lot of testing going on, and more will be revealed.....

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