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Greenpeace warns public on dangers of GMO rice
MANILA, Philippines--The environment group Greenpeace on Tuesday warned the public of an impending “economic and ecological disaster” if genetically modified rice became available commercially.

In a statement, Greenpeace said that economic costs associated with the contamination of US rice stocks sold in the global market are “staggering, with losses expected to exceed $1.2 billion.”

It said the contamination reportedly “arose from experimental field trials of LL601 in the US which ended in 2001.”

Bayer’s LL601 is rice genetically altered to survive the powerful herbicide glufosinate.

Greenpeace said traces of the Bayer LL601 were discovered in US rice supplies last year.

At least 30 countries were affected by the contamination while many closed their markets to US rice, including major importers such as the European Union and the Philippines, Greenpeace added.

Despite the closure, Greenpeace said the “Uncle Sam Texas Long Grain Rice” being sold in Philippine supermarkets was reportedly contaminated by this “illegal, unauthorized and unapproved GMO rice variety.”

Greenpeace said this discovery had prompted the National Food Authority to demand GMO-free certification from US rice traders and halt US imports worth $20 million.

“Filipinos have been exposed to the inherent risks of this genetically altered rice without knowing it,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Genetic Engineering campaigner for Philippines Daniel Ocampo.

He added that aside from inherent risks to human health and the environment, “GMO crops could also ruin the agriculture exports and economy of a country like the US.”

“Asia should focus on other means of developing rice varieties,” Ocampo said.

Greenpeace had filed a petition earlier this year against the use of Bayer’s GMO Liberty Link Rice 62 for food, animal feed and processing.
MGR Archive 7.11.2007
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
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