Greenpeace today released the results of analysis showing the presence of an untested experimental genetically-engineered strain of rice at a mill in Arkansas, in the United States, which is operated by Anheuser- Busch to brew its beer brand, Budweiser. An independent laboratory, commissioned by Greenpeace, detected the presence of GE rice (Bayer LL601) in three out of four samples taken at the mill. (1).
Budweiser beer made with genetically engineered rice. True.
The experimental GE rice is one of three rice varieties that
were first found in 2006 to have contaminated rice stocks in the
US. Since then, GE contamination has been found in approximately 30
per cent of US rice stocks. This has had a massive negative impact
on the US rice industry as foreign markets, where GE rice has not
been approved, have been closed to US rice.
"Anheuser-Busch must make a clear statement about the level of
GE contamination of the rice used to brew Budweiser in the US and
spell out what measures are in place to ensure this beer does not
reach the company's export markets," said Doreen Stabinsky,
Greenpeace International GE Campaigner.
"US beer drinkers need Anheuser-Busch to explain why it is not
preventing use of this genetically-engineered rice in the US. If,
as the company has informed Greenpeace, all of the Budweiser
exported from the US or manufactured outside of the US is
guaranteed GE free then Anheuser-Busch needs to state this
publicly, and explain the double standard," said Stabinsky.
Greenpeace informed Anheuser-Busch of the test results prior to
their release and sought clear information from the company on the
extent of contamination and its global policy on the use of GE
ingredients. Anheuser-Busch responded that the rice is approved in
the US and is not used in brewing Budweiser destined for export.
The full extent of the contamination remains unclear, however.
LL601 GE rice was retroactively granted approval by the US Dept
of Agriculture in an effort to reduce public concern and company
liability despite 15,000 public objections. The European Food
Safety Authority stated that there was insufficient data to make a
finding of safety. Greenpeace says that US consumers have a right
to know if this GE rice is used to make Budweiser. This GE rice is
not approved outside the US so the Budweiser brewed with it could
not be sold abroad.
Anheuser-Busch is the largest single rice buyer in the US,
buying 6-10 per cent of the annual US rice crop. Budweiser is one
of only a few beers having rice as an ingredient. The brand is
found in around 60 countries through a mix of exports and local
"We are asking Anheuser-Busch to make a global commitment to
produce all of its beer GE free. Anything less will leave a bad
taste in the mouth of Budweiser drinkers." said Doreen Stabinsky of
Other contacts: Press contacts:- Doreen Stabinsky, Greenpeace International GE Campaigner in Washington DC, + 1 2022857398- Lindsay Keenan, Greenpeace International GE Campaigner, + 44 7726 103 406- Omer Elnaiem, Greenpeace International Communications in Amsterdam, + 31 615093589
Notes: NOTES:1) Test results are available on request.