Food Standards Agency. 5th October 2006.
“Illegal GM Rice Update.”
At least one consignment of long grain rice imported from the USA was found to be contaminated with GM rice, LLRICE601. US authorities had certified it was GM free. Positive identification was announced by the Dutch authorities on the 21st August but tests on UK imports have so far proved negative.
The European Safety Authority pronounced that the low level contamination was ‘not likely to pose an imminent safety concern’. However, in response, the EU has now decided that all rice imports from the USA should be retested in the EU and official certificates should follow the supply down to the wholesale level.
It is illegal to sell contaminated rice; some products should therefore be withdrawn from sale. However, if anyone has already purchased such a product they can continue to eat it.
The only way to test for contamination is to use the same techniques that have already provided inconsistent results. The EU has now adopted more stringent protocols than those in the USA.
Contamination, real or imaginary, could have occurred at any point from harvest to testing inclusive.