The European Commission has told the Netherlands to trace a consignment of maize contaminated with illegal genetically-manipulated crops which arrived in Rotterdam port last month.
Although the EU food safety committee has recommended that the maize – Herculex RW – be approved, it is currently illegal and should be ‘traced and sent back,’ a spokesman for health commissioner Markos Kyprianou told ANP.
The contaminated maize, described as GM-free on official documents, was identified in samples of the crop taken by Greenpeace in April. It was on board the Croatian-owned bulk carrier Pakrac, which had picked up its load in New Orleans.
Greenpeace also found a consignment of maize flour which contained 1.9% GM crops on board the same ship. The legal limit for contamination is 0.9%.
On Saturday Greenpeace called on the EC to suspend all imports of US agricultural produce which is at risk of being contaminated with illegal GM crops. And the organisation criticised the food safety authority VWA for not carrying out enough checks. In 2005 the VWA carried out 1,582 tests and inspections on ships for GM contamination. Last year it carried out just 175, Greenpeace claimed.
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