April 9, 2009

Brazil: No to Liberty link rice

"The public hearing on GM rice held on March 18th in Brasilia clearly showed the almost unanimous resistance to introducing Bayer’s transgenic seed into Brazil. Embrapa (the largest state agricultural research company), IRGA (the Rice Research Institute of Rio Grande do Sul, a state responsible for 70% of Brazilian production of rice), Federarroz and Farsul (Rio Grande do Sul’s main producer organizations) officially opposed the release of the Liberty Link rice, genetically modified for tolerance to application of the glufosinate ammonium herbicide, also produced by Bayer."...

Clearly the science behind this gm crop is suspect:

"To give an idea of the kind of study presented by Bayer to CTNBio, one of the tests intended to prove the product’s food safety was undertaken with chickens. The auditorium burst with laughter when Bayer's representative was asked why they used chickens in the test if they don’t eat rice.

Sarah Agapito from the department of genetic resources of Santa Catarina Federal University presented a critique of Bayer’s data relating to the molecular description of the genetic modification introduced in the rice. Some of the analyses presented by the company are based on samples taken from a single plant. “Now, sampling from a single plant is not sampling,” Agapito said. In her view, the lack of scientific rigour is abundantly clear and the studies would not be accepted for publication by any scientific journal."

As the GM rice contaminates indigenous varieties, “A recall” [of the contamination] can't be made. (...) It’s a food security issue..."

Read the article

No comments: