‘Frankenstein food’ shows up in UK

Stephen Beard Nov 17, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Frankenstein food. That’s how the British tabloids refer to genetically-modified crops. Well, now the “monster” has arrived in the UK. Stephen Beard reports from London.


STEPHEN BEARD: Britain’s Food Standards Agency conducted tests at rice mills around the UK. It found that 10 percent of the samples of American long grain rice that were tested contained a genetically-modified organism.

The strain is called LL601. It was once grown experimentally in the US but was never approved for commercial use there.

The British food watchdog says though illegal, the product does not pose a threat to human health. But Claire Oxborrow of Friends of the Earth is worried about the rice:

CLAIRE OXBORROW: It’s not been authorized anywhere in the world for human consumption — not even in the U.S. — so it’s very worrying that it’s in our food chain and the authorities really must step up controls to get rid of it.

She says that by accident or design the unauthorized rice has now been exported from the U.S. around the world. It’s been detected in 16 European countries already.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.