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Tests confirm biotech traces in La. rice

Agriculture.com Staff 09/01/2006 @ 7:46am

Independent lab tests have confirmed a sample of Cheniere rice grown by the Louisiana State University AgCenter contained a trace amount of genetic material from LL601, a Liberty Link genetically modified rice.

The test results received Wednesday, however, indicated Cheniere foundation seed grown in 2005 appeared to be free of Liberty Link 601, according to the LSU officials.

Those tests, validated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, also indicated lots from 13 other varieties currently in the LSU AgCenter's foundation seed program also appeared to be free of LL601. The other varieties involved in the initial testing included Cocodrie, Cypress, Trenasse, Pirogue, Bengal, Jupiter, Clearfield 131 and Clearfield 161.

"We are conducting a thorough inquiry to determine how this happened," said Dr. David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for research. "We also are cooperating closely with officials from the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in their investigation of the circumstances."

The LSU AgCenter submitted samples to a testing lab soon after it was reported on Aug. 18 that trace amounts of LL601 were detected in samples of rice taken from Riceland Foods.

The long-grain rice from Riceland came from the 2005 crop held in storage facilities in Arkansas and Missouri, according to the USDA, but the agency said it didn't know where the rice was grown.

Independent lab tests have confirmed a sample of Cheniere rice grown by the Louisiana State University AgCenter contained a trace amount of genetic material from LL601, a Liberty Link genetically modified rice.

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