News last update:6 Aug 2012

GM rice withdrawn from US market

US rice growers have been told to destroy a variety of GM rice seed containing material which has not been approved by the US government.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Friday that testing of the Clearfield 131 (CL131) rice seed had "confirmed the presence of trace levels of genetic material not yet approved for commercialisation."
It has called on seed dealers to stop selling the long-grain rice seed. Farmers who had already planted the seed were advised either to destroy the plants after they sprout, or to treat them with a herbicide.

Not an option for planting

US officials said the Clearfield variety carried the Liberty Link RICE601 gene material, a GM strain which was at the centre of a 'contamination' crisis for the US rice industry last year. "This seed is not an option for planting this crop season," USDA told growers.

Manufacturers BASF Agricultural Products has said it will remove all Clearfield CL131 rice seed from the marketplace.

Related news story:
USDA about to approve GM rice project

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