Products found to contain illegal and untested genetically engineered rice.
We recently uncovered, and independently verified,
that illegal GE rice from China has contaminated food products
in France, Germany and the UK. We've notified authorities that the
illegal GE rice poses serious health risks and we're calling upon
European governments to take immediate action to protect
Greenpeace offices and Friends of the Earth in the UK tested
samples of rice products such as vermicelli, rice sticks and other
processed foods. Five positive samples were found containing an
illegal GE organism not approved anywhere in the world. However
this may only be the tip of the iceberg. Rice products are included
in everything from baby food to yoghurt.
"These findings are shocking and should trigger high-level
responses", said Jeremy Tager, GE rice campaigner, Greenpeace
International. "Consumers should not be left swallowing
experimental GE rice that is risky to their health."
The illegal GE rice, genetically engineered to be resistant to
insects, contains a protein or fused protein (Cry1Ac) that has
reportedly induced allergic-like reactions in mice. Three
independent scientists have issued a statement backing the health concerns we
Greenpeace International is calling for immediate worldwide
recall, measures to ensure no further contaminated rice enters the
EU and the urgent implementation of a preventative screening system
for countries with high contamination risks. Demanding GE-free
certification for food from countries that grow and produce GE
crops is reasonable, cost effective, and necessary to protect
Like Bayer's illegal GE rice in the US, this recent rice
contamination in China began with field trials; the rice is not
currently approved for commercial growing because of mounting
concerns over its safety.
"Innocent consumers again become the victims," says Tager.
"Once illegal GE crops are in the food chain, removing them takes
enormous effort and cost. It is easier to prevent contamination in
the first place," he concluded.
Greenpeace campaigns for GE-free crop and food production that
is grounded in the principles of sustainability, protection of
biodiversity and providing all people to have access to safe and
nutritious food. Genetic engineering is an unnecessary and unwanted
technology that contaminates the environment, threatens
biodiversity and poses unacceptable risks to health.
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