In November this year  the EU Business website reported that the European Union had tightened controls on imports of Chinese rice products after a growing number of shipments were contaminated by unauthorised genetically-modified rice, requiring Chinese authorities to provide a report on all rice consignments before export, instead of the current random checks.
The European Commission said in a statement that this move was in response “to an increasing detection of products contaminated with unauthorised genetically-modified (GM) rice.”
Chinese rice products contaminated with the unauthorised GM rice Bt63 have been notified through the EU’s alert system since September 2006 and a control system was set up in April 2008 to prevent the introduction of such rice in Europe but despite this, further quantities of Bt63 rice were detected.
Today, Gordon Davidson, in the Scottish Farmer newspaper, reports that the European Commission has confirmed the presence of unapproved GM traits in further consignments of Chinese rice arriving at European ports.
A draft EC regulation, due to come into force in January 2012, contains several new measures to prevent illegal GM rice shipments reaching European outlets – the main one being that all consignments of rice and rice products from China must be accompanied by a certificate of analysis showing no GM presence – but the products should still be re-analysed before being allowed to enter the EU market.