Chinese rice products: stopping unauthorised GMO from entering the EU
On 13 February, the European Commission decided to require compulsory certification for the imports of Chinese rice products that could contain the unauthorised GMO Bt63. The decision has been taken after rice products -originating in, or consigned from, China and containing the unauthorised genetically modified rice “Bt 63”- were discovered in the EU market between 2006 and 2007.
The Joint Research Centre has become a key player in the detection and identification of GMOs in the food and feed chain. Its own expertise and role as the Community Reference Laboratory for GM Food and Feed (CRL-GMFF) is strengthened by its unique association with all national control laboratories in the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL). Together with the European Food Safety Authority, the ENGL plays an essential role in EU procedures for approval of new GM products.
In the management of food crises that involve the presence of illegal GMOs on the EU market, the JRC also plays a crucial role. In this particular case, the Chinese authorities were unable to provide the JRC with the requested control samples and a protocol of a detection method that were qualitatively and quantitatively appropriate for the JRC to validate the detection method used by the Chinese control authorities.
As of April 15, only certain consignments, tested by an official or accredited laboratory using a specific testing method and accompanied by the analytical report assuring they do not contain Bt63, can enter the EU.