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LISA NAPOLI: The European Union doesn’t like what’s showing up in American rice. It’s likely to announce restrictions today on imports of the long-grained variety. Japan banned American rice over the weekend. It’s all after traces of genetically modified rice were found mixed in to commercial supplies. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports on how the ban will hit the US in the pocketbook.
ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Last year Europe imported more than $70 million worth of US long-grain rice.
Bruce Babcock of Iowa State University says the EU isn’t likely to introduce an all-out ban. but it could put testing requirements in place which it’s done in the past. But testing is expensive.
Babcock says the US has largely abandoned exporting beef to the EU because of hormone testing requirements
BRUCE BABCOCK: “So once a regulation has been passed then United States exporters can decide, is it worth meeting the regulation or is it not? And if it’s not then they you know then they have to go and try and get the regulations relaxed or don’t export to Europe.”
The biggest export market for rice is South America. So far no one there has raised concerns.
Babcock says that’s because plenty of South American countries are busily planting GM crops of their own.
I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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