GMO traces in food crops disrupts global trade

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Flax (L. usitatissimum), grown for its oil-rich seeds. FAO@PHOTO

Shipments of grain, cereal and other crops are being blocked, destroyed or turned away in a number of countries across the world for having traces of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released a survey on Thursday showing that 26 countries have rejected the food and feed following the testing of products.

The increased production of GM crops globally has led to a higher number of incidents of low levels of GMOs being detected in traded food and feed, the agency says.

The incidents have led to trade disruptions between countries.

Sarah Cahill is a Food Safety Officer for FAO.

"It's probably not unusual that a higher number of these incidents of low-levels of GMOs are being detected in food that is traded. Also, improvements in the sensitivity of test methods being used to detect GMOs seem to play a role in this. And another factor relates to the frequency of testing. Some countries are conducting more intensive testing regimes for these feeds and food products and their borders. And this increase in frequency of routine testing also seems to be contributing to the increase in incidents of low-levels of GM crops."

In most countries, there are no generally applicable low-level GMO policies, legislation or regulations yet in place.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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