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News 572 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Dutch food authority to trace GM corn load

The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA) will trace an illegal shipment of genetically modified corn from the US.

The corn, which was highlighted at the weekend by environmental organization Greenpeace , is used to produce animal feed. The Dutch government said Tuesday that it will order its own tests and may consider further steps on the basis of the outcome.

"Until the feed is eaten the shipment can always be found," a government spokesman was quoted as saying. At the weekend, Greenpeace reported that illegal shipment had been found through samples taken from an shipload of corn that was unloaded in Rotterdam port on April 10.

A spokesman for the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said on Tuesday that the Dutch authorities had to return the shipment to the United States, if Greenpeace's findings proved correct. On Monday afternoon, it became clear that in addition to the illegal genetically modified corn, the shipment also contained a cocktail of at least seven different varieties of genetically modified corn. A second batch on the ship which was supposed to be free of genetically modified corn was found to contain excessive levels of at least two variants, according to the report.

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