"This announcement from the biggest rice exporters occurred
aftermassive backlash against the GE industry following the recent
scandalswhere illegal and unapproved GE rice varieties from the US
and Chinacontaminated the global rice supply," said Jeremy Tager of
In the wake of the announcement, Greenpeace today revealed yet
anothermajor contamination, this time in the Philippines, where
rice is thestaple food: Bayer's LL601 - - has contaminated rice
productscoming from the US, which are currently on sale in
Manila(1). The brandfound to be contaminated by GE rice is "Uncle
Sam Texas Long GrainRice" which is distributed in the Philippines
by Purefeeds Inc and soldin major supermarkets like Robinson's,
Shopwise and SM.
"The public must be immediately warned, and the government must
recallall US rice and rice products from supermarket shelves," said
DannyOcampo of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. "The Philippine
Government mustsafeguard the staple food of Filipinos. The latest
GE contaminationscandal shows that once GE organisms are released
into the environment,the consequences for consumers, farmers and
traders are enormous,"Ocampo added.
The global food industry is now facing massive costs associated
with GEcontamination, including testing costs, product recalls,
brand damage,import bans and cancelled imports and contracts. At
least fivemulti-million dollar class action lawsuits have been
filed by about 300US rice farmers against Bayer, as they struggle
to protect theirlivelihoods from GE contamination. In addition, the
world's largestrice processing company, Ebro Puleva, which controls
30% of the EU ricemarket, has stopped all imports of rice from the
US and is expected tobring legal action against Bayer as well.
The company responsible for the global contamination is Bayer,
whichended field trials of the LL601 variety in the US five years
ago. Sofar in 2006, this unapproved and illegal variety has been
found in atleast 24 countries. Last week contamination was
announced in severalcountries in Africa. How small scale field
trials in the US resulted inglobal contamination of rice supplies
is still not known. Manycountries including the EU, Russia and
Japan have responded with importrestrictions, and recent export
figures show serious declines in USlong grain rice sales.
Earlier, Chinese rice exports to the EU were also found to be
contaminated by illegal GE Bt63 rice.
Greenpeace campaigns for GE-free crop and food production that
isgrounded in the principles of sustainability, protection
ofbiodiversity and providing all people to have access to safe
andnutritious food. Genetic engineering is an unnecessary and
unwantedtechnology that contaminates the environment, threatens
biodiversityand poses unacceptable risks to health.
VVPR info: In The PhilippinesDaniel Ocampo, Genetic Engineering Campaigner, +63 917 8976416Lea Guerrero, Media Campaigner, +63 2 434 7034 loc 104, +63 916 374 4969In AmsterdamSuzette Jackson, Greenpeace International communications officer, +31 6 4619 7324Jeremy Tager, Greenpeace International GE campaigner, +31 6 4622 1185
Notes: (1) On Friday 24th November the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted marketing approval of Bayer's LL601 GE rice variety following its illegal contamination of the food supply and rice exports, first discovered 11months ago. The controversial decision was taken at the request of the developer, Bayer CropScience, solely to ensure that it is not responsible for the ongoing contamination of US rice supplies. Bayer dropped plans to commercialize the variety five years ago and has no intention to market the variety. The decision by the USDA provides some legal protection for Bayer for future contamination caused by its LL rice.(2) The presence of illegal rice was verified in nine samples of U.S. food aid and commercial imports after tests were conducted in an independent laboratory in the U.S. The unapproved GE rice has been detected in rice sent to Ghana and Sierra Leone and the results were publicly announced by Friends of the Earth Africa in a simultaneous press conference in both countries in the morning of the 24th of November. http://www.eraction.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27