GM rice from U.S. found in EU

September 13, 2006

Genetically modified rice from the United States has been found in the European Union, in violation of a ban on import, growth and sale of such crops.

The European Commission confirmed Wednesday inspectors found in 33 of 162 cases, imports had been contaminated with a certain type of genetically modified rice, The EU Observer reported.

The environmental group Greenpeace said this week that the so-called Liberty Link Rice 601, a genetically modified type not approved for human consumption, was found on European supermarket shelves.

The commission said it confirmed the 601 strain had been sold in German stores, while French and Swedish authorities indicated biotech rice might also be in their supermarkets, according to German newspaper Die Welt. Officials in The Netherlands said they also have found genetically modified rice in U.S. shipments to that nation.

Greenpeace and the environmental organization Friends of the Earth last week announced they had found evidence of a strain of genetically modified rice in products from China in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the Observer said.

The Brussels-based European Commission in August implemented emergency controls to detect contaminated rice shipments.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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