QBiotech companies keep reassuring us that fields of GMO crops will not contaminate fields of non-GMO varieties. Could you please explain how rice fields in the Philippines were contaminated with Bayer LL601 GMO rice not approved for human consumption? C

Biotech companies keep reassuring us that fields of GMO crops will not contaminate fields of non-GMO varieties. Could you please explain how rice fields in the Philippines were contaminated with Bayer LL601 GMO rice not approved for human consumption? Could you explain how Bayer Bt63 GM Rice, also not fit for human consumption, had contaminated US rice exported into Sweden? Is our rice supply already contaminated with unapproved GMOs here in the US? http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/News/news-stories/gmo-rice-contamination-found-i/ http://www.gmcontaminationregister.org/index.php?content=re_detail&gw_id=365&reg=cou.6&inc=0&con=0&cof=0&year=2011&handle2_page=

AExpert Answer

Bayer LL601 GMO rice is a genetically modified rice developed by Bayer and known as Liberty Link Rice 601 ("LLRICE60I"), which in 2006 was detected in samples taken from conventional long-grain rice grown in the USA. In 2008, certain rice stocks that were alleged to contain LLRICE601 in the Philippines were tested by the Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and were found to be free of LLRICE601. 

Bt63 GM rice is genetically modified rice that has been developed in China without any contribution from or involvement by Bayer. In 2007, it was reported that Bt63 was found in rice noodles from China in Sweden during random checks. According to public records, Bt63 was reported to be found in very small amounts, contained and withdrawn. Although Bayer is aware of the Bt63 event, Bayer is not in a position to provide any comments on how this situation could have happened.

For the past several years, rice seed produced in the U.S. that is intended for commercial sale has undergone testing for the presence of genetically modified material. The most informed group that has knowledge of the details of this seed testing is the USA Rice Federation (http://www.usarice.com/). 

Bayer is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship (ETS), a global industry-coordinated organization that promotes the adoption of stewardship programs and quality management systems for the full biotech plant life cycle. The program focuses on responsible management of the technology to support regulatory compliance, achieve product integrity and assist in the prevention of trade disruptions. You can find information about ETS at this link: http://www.ExcellenceThroughStewardship.org.

Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More
Posted on August 15, 2017
No! However, poor nutrition coupled with highly processed foods and a lack of education regarding healthy eating is bad for our kids. As a mother and farmer, I believe the best way to keep my family safe and healthy is to make sure they eat a balanced diet and make good food choices daily. Fresh, healthy ingredients and minimally processed foods that are low in sugar, salt, calories and cholesterol provide kids with the best opportunity for a healthy diet. Agricultural biotechnology... Read More
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Posted on August 15, 2017
GMO crops are not "banned" in any countries around the world in the normal sense of that word. Usually when something is banned for consumption, etc., it is because some problem emerged that needed a response. The history of regulation for biotech crops is quite different in that there were regulatory approval processes developed long before any such crops were commercialized. The goal was to try to anticipate any potential health or environmental issues and to make... Read More
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