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EU confirms presence of tainted GMO rice
The European Commission confirmed on Monday the presence of an unauthorized genetically modified (GMO) strain of rice.

Thirty-three out of 162 results of rice samples carried out by members of the European Federation of Rice Millers tested positive for the LL601 strain, the European Commission said in a statement.

"Any consignments which tested positive have already been recalled or withheld from the market and the Federation's members have committed to continuing such withdrawals for any positive findings," the European Commission said.

It also said that three bargeloads within a 20,000 metric ton U.S. rice cargo detained in Rotterdam had tested positive, while 20 other bargeloads had tested negative.

"The consignments which tested negative for the unauthorized GMO have now been allowed to proceed to their final destination, while those which tested positive continue to be detained in Rotterdam and will either be returned to the USA or destroyed," the European Commission said.

At present, no biotech rice at all is allowed to be grown, sold or marketed in the 25 countries of the EU.

In August, the European Commission tightened requirements on U.S. long-grain rice imports to prove the absence of biotech rice strain LL601, which it said was marketed by Germany's Bayer AG and produced in the United States.

The Commission's August decision followed the discovery by U.S. authorities of trace amounts of LL601, engineered to resist a herbicide, in long-grain samples that were targeted for commercial use.

Earlier on Monday environmental group Greenpeace International said a strain of LL601 rice had been found in branches of discount supermarket Aldi Nord in Germany.

However, Aldi said no GMO rice had yet been found at its Aldi Nord operations.

In Frankfurt, a spokeswoman for Bayer said the company did not sell or produce LL Rice 601. She said the strain was developed by Aventis CropScience, a company bought by Bayer in 2002, but that development had been discontinued in 2001.
MGR Archive 12.9.2006
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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