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8th May 2021

EU to test rice imports from US

  • The import tests will apply to all long grain rice coming from the US (Photo: Wikipedia)

EU member states on Monday (23 October) agreed that all long grain rice imports coming from the US should be tested before being allowed into the bloc.

The new rules, which will take effect within days, will set up tests to see that long grain rice imports are not the illegal genetically modified versions, which are not allowed in the EU. Exporters will have to bear the costs.

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The EU's move comes in response to fears that a strain of GM rice, known as LL Rice 601, was imported from the US and got into food supplies in the bloc.

The European Commission has in the past noted that, according to the data available to it, the LL601 strain poses no immediate health risk to humans or animals but that it could not be sold on the EU market because it has not been approved.

The tests will also look for LL Rice 62 a genetically modified strain that was recently discovered in France.

The measures had been taken because after two weeks of negotiation, Brussels and Washington had failed to reach agreement on methods that would provide a "high level of consistency and accuracy," the commission said in a statement.

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