Bt10: Ireland notifies contaminated consignment stopped in port

May 26, 2005

Brussels, 25 May 2005

Today the Irish authorities informed the European Commission through the Rapid Alert System that a shipment with a consignment of corn-gluten feed contaminated with the unauthorised GMO maize Bt10 arrived in Ireland yesterday. The Irish authorities are taking the necessary measures to ensure that this consignment does not enter the feed chain. This is the first case of a contaminated consignment arriving in the EU since the adoption of EU measures to prevent the import of products containing the maize Bt10 (see IP/05/437 ) and it demonstrates that the measures in place are functioning as they should.

Since the measures were adopted on 18 April [1] , consignments of genetically modified corn-gluten feed and brewers grain from the USA can only be placed on the EU market if they are accompanied by an analytical report by an accredited laboratory which demonstrates that the product does not contain the unauthorised maize Bt10.

On 25 May, the Irish authorities informed the Commission and the other Member States via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) that a consignment of corn gluten feed containing Bt10 arrived in Ireland on 24 May 2005. The Irish authorities were informed by the importer prior to the arrival of the vessel and the necessary measures are being taken in order to ensure that the contaminated feed does not enter the feed chain and that it is disposed of. This situation arose because the results of the testing became available when the vessel was already en route to the EU. The contaminated consignment will be disposed of under the supervision of the Irish authorities.

This is the first time that the arrival of a consignment of maize containing the unauthorised GMO Bt10 has been reported. To date, 290 tests on corn gluten feed and brewers grain have been carried out in the United States, and 289 have proved negative.

Further information

The ship contains five separate holds. The first contains only soybean hull pellets, no maize. Of the remaining four holds, three containing corn-gluten feed and distillers dried grain tested negative for the presence of Bt10. The fourth hold contains two separate consignments of corn-gluten feed, one of which (2,546 t) tested positive for Bt10, the other tested negative.

The contaminated material will be offloaded and detained in a dedicated store pending a decision on its disposal. In addition, the Irish authorities intend to carry out a risk assessment concerning all of the other feed materials on the shipment.

This assessment will include examination of the results of further sampling and testing by the authorities and examination of information on the port of loading, sequence of loading and type of feed material. Pending the outcome of this assessment, all of the feed materials on the shipment are detained by the Irish authorities.

Once the Irish authorities have completed this risk assessment to their satisfaction, the consignments of corn gluten feed and distillers dried grain which tested negative can be placed on the market.

[1] Decision 2005/317/EC , OJ L 101, 21.4.2004, p.14

Item source: IP/05/608 Date: 25/05/2005 Previous Item Back to Titles Print Item

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