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Agriculture: EU-US Tensions, This Time on GM Rice

  • October 21st, 2006
  • Posted by 7thmin

European Union countries will carry out GM testing on imports of American long grain rice, at the point of entry, after the failure of a round of negotiations in early Octoibrer.,

The latest item in a history of disagreements on agricultural trade, especially over genetic modification, it came up after the detection of an unauthorised GMO ( Genetically Modified Organism) in shipments from the United States.

The shipments of the variety, LLRICE601, had been certified as free from the GMO, and European officials demanded talks to agree on introducing a common sampling and testing protocol for the future.

The European Commission says that despite extensive discussions the two sides could not get an agreement, so the Europeans will apply the certification requirements they imposed unilaterally during August, when LL601 was first reported to be in US rice.

Costs of the extra testing will be charged to operators of the trade.

The testing will also cover another US rice variety, LLRICE62, in which French authorities recently found an unauthorised GMO.

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Postscript, 23.10.06: A draft Commission Decision imposing mandatory counter testing for unauthorised GMOs in all imports of US long grain rice was endorsed today by Member State experts in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. EC media release, http://europa.eu.int/rapid/ (23.10.06).

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