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 According to public records, Bt63 was reported to be found in very small amounts, contained and withdrawn.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 9, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
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Posted on March 8, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
Posted on March 9, 2018
Anyone who has traveled through the Southeast and seen kudzu vines along the highway knows that plants can evolve into a negative outcome. There is a similar concern that a GMO can produce negative outcomes in the environment.  Therefore, prior to approving their commercial planting, GMOs must be tested in contained field trials to ensure that they do not behave in ways that could cause problems. To prevent negative outcomes, GMOs must not have the ability to cross with wild... Read More

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