USDA Approves Test to Detect Genetically Modified Rice

AUGUST 25, 2006 - Posted at 4:41 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Agriculture Department has approved a test to detect genetically modified rice that is not approved for consumption.

The government found trace amounts of an experimental, unapproved variety in long-grain rice in Arkansas and Missouri.  Officials say the genetically modified variety is herbicide-resistant but does not threaten people or the environment.

The rice industry needed the government-approved test to ensure the crop is free of the unapproved variety.  The industry is worried about trading partners, particularly in Europe, where there is resistance to genetically engineered crops.

Bayer CropScience developed the variety and the test.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)