Sep 18, 2006
This is VERY important....the USDA is taking comments on the deregulation of Genetically engineered Rice.
We need to stop this from happening.....please send in your comments in opposition to this.
put 'rice' in for the keyword and it will bring up the page for comments.
How to Comment You may submit comments by either of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and,in the lower Search Regulations and Federal Actions box, select Animaland Plant Health Inspection Service from the agency drop- down menu,then click on Submit. In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0140to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and relatedmaterials available electronically.
USDA to Rubber-Stamp Contamination of Food with Illegal, Genetically Engineered Rice
* USDA to Rubber-Stamp Contamination of Food with Illegal, Genetically Engineered Rice Banned in Japan and Europe
U.S. Dismantles Regulation of Genetically Engineered Crops to Serve Interests of Biotechnology Industry
Press Release - Center for Food Safety, Sept. 11, 2006
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today initiated fast-trackmarket approval of an illegal, genetically-engineered (GE) rice varietythat has contaminated long-grain rice throughout the South, throwingrice markets into turmoil and potentially causing harm to consumers andthe environment. Bayer CropScience developed the rice, known as LL601. Bayer field-tested LL601 from 1998-2001, but for unknown reasons neverapplied to USDA for market approval.
ThoughLL601 is illegally present in rice supplies, and has not undergonemeaningful reviews for potential health or environmental impacts, U.S.authorities have failed to recall LL601-contaminated rice supplies orfood products. In contrast, Japan has banned U.S. long-grain riceimports, and the European Union is testing all U.S. rice shipments andrejecting those that contain LL601.
Bayer is now asking USDA togrant retroactive market approval of the illegal rice, even though thecompany gave up plans to market LL601 in 2001 and it remains untested.
"Illegal,potentially hazardous rice in grain bins, on supermarket shelves, incereal, beer, baby foods, and all rice products. It should be ano-brainer recall this stuff to make sure no one eats it," saidJoseph Mendelson, Legal Director of the Center for Food Safety. "Instead, USDA plans to rush through 'market approval' of a geneticallyengineered rice that Bayer itself decided was unfit for commerce. Why? To free Bayer from liability."
"Experimental, geneticallyengineered crops like LL601 are prohibited for a reason," said BillFreese, Science Policy Analyst at Center for Food Safety. "Exhaustivetesting is required to determine whether or not mutagenic gene-splicingprocedures create human health or environmental hazards, and no one hasdone that analysis on LL601 rice," he added.
LL601 is one ofseveral 'LibertyLink' (LL) rice varieties that have been geneticallyengineered by Bayer to survive application of Bayer's proprietaryLiberty© herbicide. Liberty kills normal rice, but can be applieddirectly to LL varieties to kill surrounding weeds. This explains whyBayer had to obtain government approval to permit residues of theweedkiller on rice grains of its two approved versions of LibertyLinkrice.
"Contrary to what you hear from the biotech industry,genetically engineered crops like LibertyLink rice mean more chemicalsin our food, not less," said Freese.
"USDA's bid to approve -rather than recall an illegal, genetically engineered contaminant inthe food supply is the clearest sign yet that U.S. authorities areintent upon dismantling federal regulation of GE crops in the interestsof the biotechnology industry," said Mendelson.
LL601 was firstdetected in U.S. rice by an export customer of Arkansas-based RicelandFoods in January 2006. According to Arkansas Secretary of AgricultureRichard Bell, LL601 has been detected in virtually all milledlong-grain rice supplies that have been tested. USDA announced thecontamination debacle seven months later, on August 18th, when U.S.Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns professed ignorance as to howmuch rice was contaminated, which rice products were involved, or wherethe contaminated rice was found.
In 2001, Bayer purchasedAventis CropScience, the company responsible for multimillion dollarfood recalls due to massive contamination of U.S corn supplies withgenetically engineered StarLink corn. StarLink was unapproved forhuman consumption due to concerns it could cause food allergies.
Since1996, the USDA has granted at least 48 permits authorizing Bayer orcompanies it has since acquired (Aventis, AgrEvo) to plant over 4,000acres of experimental, genetically engineered (GE) rice. The extent towhich pollen or grains from these field trials have contaminatedcommercial rice or related weedy species such as red rice is unknown. USDA policies do not provide for the testing of fields adjacent tofield test sites to detect possible contamination with the experimentalgenetically engineered crop.
September 8, 2006
Joe Mendelson, 202-547-9359 x12
Bill Freese, 202-547-9359 x14
------http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2006/09/0345.xml Release No. 0345.06
USDA SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON DEREGULATION OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED RICE
WASHINGTON,Sept. 8, 2006 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking publiccomment on a petition to deregulate a rice genetically engineered (GE)to be tolerant to herbicides marketed under the brand name LibertyLink.In 1999, after thorough safety evaluations, USDA's Animal and PlantHealth Inspection Service (APHI deregulated two similar LibertyLinkrice lines. Under petition, APHIS would extend its deregulation fromthe original two lines to include the rice line known as LLRICE601.
OnAug. 18, USDA announced that trace amounts of this regulated GE ricewere detected in samples taken from commercial long grain rice. Areview of the scientific data by USDA and the U.S. Food and DrugAdministration concluded that there were no human health, food safetyor environmental concerns associated with this GE rice.
Thepetition for deregulation, submitted by Bayer CropScience, is inaccordance with APHIS' regulations concerning the introduction of GEorganisms and products. APHIS has prepared a draft environmentalassessment (EA) for LLRICE601. The scientific evidence indicates thereare no environmental, human health or food safety concerns associatedwith this GE rice.
Notice of this action is scheduled forpublication in today's Federal Register. USDA is seeking comment on thepetition and invites comments on the EA. Consideration will be given tocomments received on or before Oct. 10. Send an original and threecopies of comments to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0140, Regulatory Analysisand Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238. Comments may be submitted via theInternet at http://www.regulations.gov/
Comments are posted onthe regulations.gov web site and may also be viewed at USDA, Room 1141,South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C.,between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excludingholidays. To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, pleasecall (202) 690-2817.
Contact: Rachel Iadicicco (301) 734-3255 Kristin Scuderi (202) 720-4623
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
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