Illegal GM rice found in Sweden

The Swedish National Food Administration recently announced that traces of unapproved genetically modified LL601 rice had been found in long-grain rice imported from the United States. The rice, about 600 metric tons of pre-packed long-grain rice intended for consumers, was shipped from the United States in 30 containers about seven weeks ago. It arrived in Gothenburg in western Sweden near the end of January.

Local authorities in Gothenburg tested all 30 containers for LL 601 rice. Initial test results showed presence of LL 601 rice in 6 out of the first sixteen containers tested.

Swedish authorities conducted these tests despite the fact that the rice had tested negative for LL 601 twice before the official testing in Sweden. It had been tested in the United States in order to get the required certificate for rice exports to the EU. The rice had also tested negative for LL 601 by ICA, a leading retailer, as well as food importer, in Sweden.

The tainted rice has been recalled and ICA has offered customers to return already purchased rice. ICA is currently investigating why this “blocked” rice reached the retail stores.

ICA is one of the few importers in the EU that is still importing US rice after the EU certification and testing requirements were imposed on US rice in September 2006. After these findings, however, it is doubtful it will continue importing US rice.

(Source: US Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service)

© Copyright May 2007, The Organic & Non-GMO Report