GM rice LL601: More tests and import stops

The contamination of long-grain rice with the unapproved GM rice LL601 from the USA is still causing reactions around the world. The European Union now requires mandatory testing of US rice imports, and Japan has extended its tests for the GM rice. Russia has suspended rice imports from the USA, and the world's largest rice company no longer buys US rice.

Contaminations with the GM rice LL601 still trouble US rice producers.
Contaminations with the GM rice LL601 still trouble US rice producers.
On 4 October, the European Commission announced a proposal to introduce mandatory testing of rice imports from the USA. This proposal will be reviewed by farm experts for 15 days. During that time, the Commission will work together with the relevant US authorities to establish a common sampling protocol.

According to the national food quality agency Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia has suspended rice imports from the USA. The agency justified these measures with the fact that genetically modified rice which had not passed safety tests had been sold in the USA.

Arguing that the USA were unable to prove short- and medium-grain rice to be free of GM contamination, Japan extended current testing for GMOs to all types of US rice on 28 September. The country has begun to sample 1.1 million tonnes of rice stockpiled in warehouses. Imports in which GM rice is found must be destroyed or shipped back to the exporting country.

The world's largest rice processing company, Ebro Puleva, which controls 30 percent of the EU rice market, has confirmed to Greenpeace that, due to the threat of contamination by genetically modified rice, it has stopped all imports of rice from the USA to the EU since August. Ebro Puleva has also indicated that it will not consider purchasing rice from the USA until the situation is under control. Instead, the company will purchase rice from other countries - with the exception of China, which continues to have its own problems with GM contamination of rice.