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European Commission proposes U.S. rice import tests

Agriculture.com Staff 10/19/2006 @ 12:38pm

The European Commission (EC) will propose mandatory testing for unauthorized GMOs in all imports of U.S. long grain rice.

This, according to the EC, follows the lack of agreement by the U.S. authorities to a common sampling and testing protocol which would ensure a high level of consistency and accuracy in the tests for the unauthorized GM rice LLRICE601 in consignments to the EU.

The measures are being taken in response to findings four weeks ago of LLRICE601 in shipments of U.S. long grain rice, despite the rice having been certified as free from this unauthorized GMO.

On October 4, the EC gave Commissioner Markos Kyprianou the mandate to introduce this counter-testing, but to first allow 15 days to seek agreement with the United States on a common approach to sampling and testing. However, despite extensive discussions, the Commission and the U.S. authorities were unable to agree on such a protocol.

U.S. long grain rice imports will continue to be subject to the certification requirements imposed when LL601 was first reported to be in U.S. rice in August. Now in addition, all consignments of U.S. long-grain rice will also be sampled and tested at the point of entry to the EU by Member State authorities according to the EU testing protocol, which will be referred to in the decision.

Responsibility for paying for this additional testing will lie with the operators. The tests will also take into account the French authorities' recent finding of another unauthorized GMO, LLRICE62, in U.S. rice.

The European Commission (EC) will propose mandatory testing for unauthorized GMOs in all imports of U.S. long grain rice.

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