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Suspected unauthorised GMO rice in Netherlands
Brussels (Reuters)
Brussels (Reuters) - A rice shipment suspected of containing an unauthorised GMO strain from the United States arrived in the Netherlands on Saturday but has not entered the market, the European Commission said.

"We do have a suspected positive case in Rotterdam," Commission spokesman Philip Tod told a news conference on Thursday, adding that Dutch authorities were testing the consignment.

"We also have been told by industry of another suspected positive case in New Orleans, but that has not left the U.S."

The shipment in Rotterdam also came from New Orleans and was partly destined for Britain and partly for Germany, he said.

Last week, the EU tightened requirements on U.S. long-grain rice imports to prove the absence of a genetically modified (GMO) strain known as LL Rice 601 marketed by Germany's Bayer AG (BAYG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and produced in the United States.

The EU decision followed the discovery by U.S. authorities of trace amounts of LL Rice 601, engineered to resist a herbicide, in long-grain samples that were targeted for commercial use -- the first time this had happened.

"To my knowledge, the ship in Rotterdam is the only one which has arrived since adoption of the measure," Tod said.

"We have asked them to urgently conduct the necessary tests using the validated methods which they now have to give us a more accurate picture of this shipment."

The Commission, the executive arm of the 25-country European Union, hopes to have the test results within the next week.

More worrying for Brussels, the presence of the unauthorised strain in the U.S. commercial rice market may date back to early 2006, Tod said.

Last year, EU member states imported 300,000 tonnes of U.S. rice, with 85 percent being long grain.

"We can't rule out the possibility that contaminated rice has been imported into the EU," Tod said.

The EU's executive arm has already complained to Washington about its information policy that caused a near three-week delay in telling Brussels that traces of the unauthorised GMO had been found in the commercial rice.
MGR Archive 5.9.2006
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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