Greenpeace finds Heinz Baby Rice Cereal contaminated by illegal GE rice
Greenpeace announced in Beijing today that non-approved
genetically-engineered (GE) rice has been detected in Heinz's Baby Rice Cereal
and the environmental group called for an immediate recall of all the
It also asked on the government to control the spread
of GE rice in the food chain.
The test results were provided by GeneScan, a
Germany-based independent laboratory, which tested 19 food samples that
Greenpeace had collected in the supermarkets in Beijing.
Heinz Baby Rice
Cereal with a best before date of March 12, 2007 is the only product where GE
ingredients, namely Bt rice, were detected.
The GE rice variety is developed
to be resistant to pest but has not been approved by the government.
completely shocked by the result," said Steven Ma, GE campaigner for Greenpeace
"It is the first time we found illegal GE rice in baby food, which
should have been subject to the most rigorous surveillance."
In 2000 Mexican
scientists found that the Bt protein (Cry1Ac) which comes from GE rice has been
found to induce allergic responses in mice, Ma said.
On March 1, Greenpeace
notified Heinz China of its finding, asking for an immediate recall of the
product and for the company to change its suppliers.
Donald Gadsden, CEO of
Heinz China, replied on March 8 that "Heinz will take any alerts seriously and
we are now conducting a thorough inspection."
As of March 14, Heinz had not
responded with further information about its inspection.