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FAO Survey Reports on Incidents of Low-level GMO Presence in International Trade

FAO13 March 2014: A survey released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) shows an increase in the number of incidents of detection of low levels of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in international shipments of food and feed.

Based on responses from 75 out of 193 FAO member countries, the survey shows that there has been a steady increase in such incidents between 2009 and 2012, with 2012 accounting for 138 incidents out of a total of 198 reported for the survey period.

The majority of the shipments with low levels of GMOs originated from China, Canada and the US. Linseed, rice, maize and papaya were the commodities most often affected by accidental GMO presence.

The survey also gathered information about: countries' import policies and biosafety frameworks, including applicable restrictions with regard to GMOs not approved for production within a country; capacities to detect low levels of GMOs in shipments; and measures to be taken in case low-level presence of these GMOs is detected.

The survey will inform a FAO technical consultation meeting to be held 20-21 March 2014 in Rome, Italy. [FAO Press Release][The results of the FAO survey on low levels of genetically modified (GM) crops in international food and feed trade] [FAO GM Foods Platform]