BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission demanded Tuesday that China provide proof that rice products it is sending to the EU do not contain a genetically modified strain.
"The European Commission decided today to require compulsory certification for the imports of Chinese rice products that could contain the unauthorised GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) Bt63," a statement said.
The EU's executive arm said it took the decision after the strain was found in rice products from China as late as last year despite measures introduced there to stop them reaching Europe.
The commission's move means that as of April 15, only certain consignments of Chinese rice products can enter the EU and they must be laboratory tested and accompanied by an analytical report assuring they do not contain Bt63.
"Under EU food safety legislation, only GMOs which have undergone a thorough scientific assessment and authorisation procedure, may be put on the EU market," said Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou.
Brussels will review the measure in six months.