Greenpeace demands global ban on imports of US rice

Press release - 21 August, 2006
Greenpeace International today called for a global ban on imports of US rice in order to protect the public from eating illegal, untested and unapproved varieties of genetically engineered (GE) rice.

GE Liberty Link (LL) rice 602, produced by agro-chemical giant Bayerand never intended for commercial release, has been found in commercialrice in the United States and rice imports were, as a result,immediately banned in Japan. (1) It is not approved for consumption orcultivation anywhere in the world.

"Rice is the world's most important staple food and contamination ofrice supplies by Bayer, a company pushing its GE rice around the world,must be stopped," said Jeremy Tager, Greenpeace International GEcampaigner.

Japan has already announced a ban on long grain rice imports from theUS as a result of this latest contamination scandal. Last year, Japanand the EU banned US maize imports as a result of yet another GEcontamination scandal.

"This latest contamination scandal once again shows the GE industry isutterly incapable of controlling GE organisms. Countries that import USrice, such as the EU, Mexico, Brasil and Canada must become seriousabout preventing this kind of threat to our food supplies by banningany imports of GE rice, removing all contaminated food from supermarketshelves and rejecting applications for the commercial cultivation ofrice," said Tager.

"Relevant authorities in importing countries must also conduct aninvestigation into the contamination caused by Bayer and also determinewhether any other GE rice varieties being tested by Bayer havecontaminated the world's food chain," Tager concluded.

VVPR info: Jeremy Tager, Greenpeace International GE campaigner mob +31 (0) 6 4622 1185 office +31 (0) 20 718 2177Suzette Jackson, Greenpeace International communications +31 (0) 6 4619 7324

Notes: (1)