The GM rice problem: Food fraud from China?

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Genetic modification is an on-going problem in Asia’s basmati rice network and it is a problem that importers need to be vigilant in curbing, according to an industry expert.

Richard Werran, CEO of Cert-ID – an independent certification firm specialising in food safety and production, told FoodNavigator-Asia that GM contamination in rice is food fraud.

He said that the problem stems from China, a country with a “very strong GM mandate”.

Due to the complex network of Asia’s rice sector, “regrettably this is spilling over into other Asian countries,”​ he added, and reaching Europe and other global markets via indirect routes.

Companies at all levels of the chain are tempted to make money and cut true basmati rice with cheaper GM strains, he said.

This is a notable, on-going problem that firms involved with Asia’s rice market need to actively curb, he said, and the best solution is to invest in independent, third-party non-GMO testing and certification systems.

Firms need to deal with the problem early on, he said.

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