1.German company sues U.S. rice millers over modified rice 2.Greenpeace seeks injunction vs GMO rice 3.Bishop warns v. consumption of genetically enhanced rice
GM Watch comment: While the U.S. rice industry desperately tries to rid itself of the GM contamination of its rice strains (for obvious economic reasons - see item 1), in the Philippines... (item 2)
EXTRACTS: "for the whole country, the impending approval of this genetically altered rice will certainly be an alarming precedent that will irrevocably alter the future of our most important staple food." (item 2)
"As a church institution, we have a moral obligation to protect the interest of God's people and their inherent right to safe food and a healthy environment." - Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of the Philippines, an economic adviser to Pope Benedict XVI (item 3)
LITTLE ROCK: A German food producer has sued two Arkansas rice millers, alleging that shipments to the company contained unapproved genetically engineered rice.
Bremen-based Rickmers Reismuehle GMBH, filed separate federal complaints Tuesday against Riceland Foods cooperative and Producers Rice Mill, both based in Stuttgart, Arkansas.
Rickmers alleged the millers breached contracts by selling rice that did not meet the terms of a 2003 European Union ban on the importation and sale of genetically modified foods.
The lawsuits seek damages incurred by Rickmers in purchasing, using and recalling the rice and the food products made with it.
Keith Glover, president and chief executive officer for Producers, said Wednesday he had not seen the lawsuit but suspects it stems from the federal government's finding a year ago that the food supply contained traces of unapproved genetically engineered rice. Before that, Glover said, producers believed U.S. rice was free of the genetically modified grain.
Riceland did not immediately return a call for comment.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed over a genetically modified rice that was found in storage bins in Arkansas and Missouri. Those cases have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis.
MANILA, Philippines -- The environmental group Greenpeace and the Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (Searice) filed Thursday a petition for injunction with the Quezon City trial court against the use of genetically-modified rice that is pending approval by the government.
The petition questions the constitutionality of for the Department of Agriculture's (DA) Administrative Order 8, series of 2002, which sets the guidelines for the approval and use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).
Greenpeace and Searice are also seeking a temporary restraining order against the approval by the DA and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) of the GMO rice called Bayer LL62 for commercial use.
The petition cited several concerns regarding the use of LL62, particularly the absence of public consultations as required by the Philippine Constitution, particularly Article 3, Section 7, which recognizes people’s rights in matters of public concern.
The groups questioned the timing of Bayer's application for LL62 in August 2006, which was the height of the controversy in the US over the contamination of rice crops there with Bayer's LL601 GMO rice.
Greenpeace, in particular, said it requested for official information about Bayer's application but said both the DA and BPI have yet to answer.
Both Greenpeace and Searice say approval of LL62 will make the Philippines the first country in the world to approve a genetically-altered food crop.
Greenpeace genetic engineering campaigner Danny Ocampo described the system for GMO approval in the country as "hopelessly flawed" because it excludes public representation in such matters.
"How much do Filipinos know about this, and what voice do they have in such a process? Very little. And yet, for the whole country, the impending approval of this genetically altered rice will certainly be an alarming precedent that will irrevocably alter the future of our most important staple food," Ocampo said.
Ocampo also told INQUIRER.net that the BPI has not rejected any of the 44 applications for GMOs, in particular four applications for the propagation in the Philippines pf GMOs -- BT11, Bt corn, roundup-ready and a strain that is a combination of Bt corn and roundup-ready.
He also said the petition would push a review of the approval process for GMO plants in the country.
MANILA Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has asked the government to recall and stop the selling of genetically-enhanced rice products from the US that pose health risks to humans and to the environment.
Rosales, in a letter sent to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last February 9, asked Arroyo to take back from the supermarkets the Uncle Sam Texas Long Grain Rice, which is being distributed by Purefeeds Inc.
"We believe that we should strongly oppose any experiment or attempt to use genetically engineered foods that are not safe or good to the environment. We should feed our people with food that are produced through natural means," Rosales said.
The cardinal endorsed the petition of the ecology desk of the Archdiocese of Manila and signed by 2,000 people who raised several issues on the entry and sale of genetically-made products in the Philippines.
Aside from the withdrawal of the products, the cardinal also demanded that a moratorium be imposed on the importation of genetically-modified rice from the US; require the agriculture department to do mandatory testing of imported rice and urgently stop the propagation of genetically-enhanced food products; and certify as an urgent bill the mandatory labeling of all imported, processed food products.
"As a church institution, we have a moral obligation to protect the interest of God's people and their inherent right to safe food and a healthy environment. Independent and environmentally-concerned local and international scientists already warned that genetically-modified crops and food products could be very harmful to the environment and to human beings," said the cardinal who was recently named as one of Pope Benedict XVI's economic advisers. (MSN/Sunnex)
German company sues U.S. rice millers over GM rice