US shipments coming into the Netherlands will experience more import checks,
following the discovery of genetically modified (GM) maize banned in the EU. The
increased number of checks will prevent that more GM raw materials are slipping
into the European supply chain undetected, but they could also lead to delays.
The Dutch Food Safety Authority (VWA) announced that
it was recalling part of a cargo containing the corn and intended to increase
inspections to one in four shipments from one in ten. Dutch authorities traced
the origin of the corn, Herculex RW 59122, back to producers
Pioneer/Dow and now plan to destroy the crop. Intended for animal
Monsanto's MON863, currently under review by the European Food
Safety Authority (EFSA), was also found to be a contaminant in the shipment. The
crop was intended for animal feed, but Greenpeace also found maize flour
containing 1.9% GM crops - above the legal limit of 0.9% - on board the ship.
Described as GM-free on official documents, the maize was identified in samples
taken from a ship by environmental group Greenpeace, with the permission of the
captain, in April.
In October, EU countries stepped-up testing of US
long-grain rice shipments after two banned GM strains were accidentally
imported. In 2005 the VWA carried out 1,582 tests and inspections on ships for
GM contamination. Last year it carried out just 175, Greenpeace claimed.
VWA EFSA Greenpeace
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