Chinese rice products under special review

10.4.2008

<div>From 15th April onwards the EU Commission is requiring certification for all batches of rice products imported from China, to show that they do not contain genetically modified Bt63 rice, which has not been authorised by the European Community. The Commission’s ruling lists those rice products affected by the ruling for emergency action. </div>

Bt63 rice is also not approved for use in China, but from 2006 onwards EU member States have nevertheless discovered traces of this rice in Chinese rice products. The discoveries were reported to the Community’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).

The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira is urging municipal food monitoring authorities to inform businesses in their area of the stricter importing requirements regarding rice products of Chinese origin.

Member States are obliged to monitor products that are already on the market by, for example, spot checks and analyses.

The safety of Bt63 rice has not been assessed in the EU, as there is insufficient information available for making a safety assessment. The EU Commission has been in negotiations with the Chinese authorities to ensure that products originating from China comply with European Union legislation.

No evidence in Finland

Evira has had Chinese rice products for food tested in the Finnish Customs Laboratory for occurrences of Bt63 rice, 11 in 2006 and four in 2007, but the unauthorised rice was not found in these samples. The taking of samples will continue in 2008 as part of the annual GMO monitoring programme.

Rice is not used in feed for farm animals. Three pet foods tested did not contain the strain of rice.

Commission Decision
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:096:0029:0034:EN:PDF

For more information please contact:
Senior Officer Emma Pikkarainen, Evira, tel. +358 20 77 24291, +358 50 464 9354 (genetically modified food products)
Senior Officer Tiina O’Toole, Evira, tel. +358 20 77 25228, +358 40 827 9631 (genetically modified animal feed)

 

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