Following USDA's March 4 issuance of an Emergency Action Notification on BASF's CL131 rice, the company announced Monday that it will cooperate with the agency in removing the seed from the marketplace.
Trace amounts of LibertyLink LL62 rice, a genetically modified product of Bayer CropScience, were found in some Clearfield CL131 rice, resulting in USDA's order calling for no planting or distribution of CL131 seed. Cleafield rice is a non-GM product conferring herbicide tolerance to the rice plant.
On March 1, BASF notified USDA of independent laboratory findings indicating the presence of Liberty Link rice in 2005 CL131 registered rice. The seed then tested negative for Liberty Link varieties LL62 and LL601, suggesting a possible unidentified GM event.
"BASF notified the USDA immediately after becoming aware of the laboratory findings and we continue to work cooperatively with USDA on this situation," says Andy Lee, Director of U.S. Business Operations, Crop Protection Products, for BASF.
LL62 and LL601 rice are both deregulated and approved for human consumption by the U.S. government.