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  Rice giants denounce GMOs

Wednesday 29 November 2006
cropsTwo of the world’s biggest rice exporting nations have announced their commitment to producing only GM-free rice, following a string of recent contamination cases. Thailand and Vietnam - who together account for more than half of all the rice traded globally - issued a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their intentions, in a move that is likely to raise pressure on other rice producing nations to follow suit.

The decision won support from environmental campaign group Greenpeace.

“This announcement from the biggest rice exporters occurred after massive backlash against the GE (genetically engineered) industry following the recent scandals where illegal and unapproved GE rice varieties from the US and China contaminated the global rice supply,” commented Jeremy Tager from Greenpeace International.

As the MoU was issued, another GM contamination scare was reported, this time in the Philippines where a US-produced rice variety was found to contain GM traces.

“The public must be immediately warned, and the government must recall all US rice and rice products from supermarket shelves,” said Danny Ocampo from Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “The Philippine Government must safeguard the staple food of Filipinos. The latest GE contamination scandal shows that once GE organisms are released into the environment, the consequences for consumers, farmers and traders are enormous.”

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