Consumers Union of Japan and No! GMO Campaign have written to Californian rice growers, asking them to strictly implement and enforce the March 2007 moratorium on GM field trials in California.
We are still concerned about the undetermined events that led to the contamination of long grain rice in the Southern States and skeptical about the control of genetically modified crops. The events demonstrate that even experimental plots of small sizes could cause a large scale of contamination. The fact that a California mill was contaminated by GM Liberty Link rice is of great concern to us.
We have learned that field trials of genetically modified rice in California have taken place even after the adoption of the rice field trial moratorium resolution. We are aware that genetically modified rice varieties have been experimented with for over a decade in California near rice farms and research facilities. We are very concerned about the ongoing risk of contamination of short and medium grain rice in California that this presents.
On August 22, 2008, we received a reply from the California Rice Commission, stating that they are “very aware of the concerns of Japanese consumers regarding this issue.” They also explain that they “continue to take all available steps to ensure that an event like the one that occurred in the Southern United States does not happen in California.” They claim to be testing all rice for GM Liberty Link contamination, which we appreciate.