Alexa

Arkansas to test all rice seed next year over genetic concerns

Arkansas to test all rice seed next year over genetic concerns

Arkansas, a major domestic rice producer, will test all seed planted in the state next year, as concerns continue after trace amounts of genetically altered rice were found in one type of rice.
The state Plant Board unanimously approved the emergency rule Thursday to require the testing by April 1. Plant Board Director Darryl Little said most rice is planted in April, with some planted in March.
Seed will be collected from producers and farmers and sent to a testing lab. If found clean, the board will issue letters confirming that. If a sample tests positive for the unapproved Cheniere rice, it must either be destroyed or taken to a mill and processed for the domestic market by July 31.
The move comes after the board banned the planting next year of the Cheniere rice. That seed rice tested positive for a genetically modified rice that contaminated some long-grain supplies this year. The LLRICE601 modification, engineered to resist Bayer's "Liberty" herbicide, was never marketed.
Since the discovery of the contamination, the European Union has halted imports of U.S. rice. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration have said that no health, safety or environmental concerns are associated with the rice, which is being used domestically.
But the crisis has affected the $1.3 billion (euro990 million) U.S. rice market. That, in turn, affects Arkansas, which supplies 50 percent of the nation's rice. Rice is Arkansas single most valuable row crop, worth $810 million (euro615 million) in 2005.
Cheniere is the only seed rice to date that has tested positive for traces of LLRICE601.


Updated : 2021-03-06 18:48 GMT+08:00