November 20, 2007 / 10:25 AM / 12 years ago

U.S GMO rice found in China supermarkets: Greenpeace

BEIJING (Reuters) - The environmental group, Greenpeace, said unauthorized genetically modified (GMO) rice from the United States was found in Beijing’s supermarkets.

China does not allow sales and imports of GMO rice as rice is the staple food for most of the country’s population, though it does allow imports, particularly GMO soybeans and corn, to be processed into products, or used as animal feed.

Greenpeace in Beijing collected 10 U.S food samples from two supermarkets in Beijing in August and September and testing showed one of the samples contained Liberty Link rice strain, it said in a statement.

Liberty Link RICE601, a genetically modified strain made by Bayer Crop Science, was discovered in U.S commercial rice supply last year and led to a sharp fall in U.S export sales, especially to countries in Europe.

China is a not a big rice importer from the United States.

A Ministry of Agriculture biosafety official told Reuters that the ministry was investigating the case.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S embassy in Beijing.

Greenpeace two years ago said it had found GMO rice being sold in markets in Chinese cities in the south. The strain was being test-grown at a university in Wuhan, central Hubei province.

Reporting by Niu Shuping and Vivi Lin, Editing by Peter Blackburn

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