More Tests Show Louisiana Rice GM-free

Steven Linscombe, Boethel, David J., Schultz, Bruce, Gould, Frances I.  |  9/9/2006 1:21:21 AM

News Release Distributed 09/08/06

CROWLEY, La. – A second round of independent laboratory testing shows that five varieties grown by the LSU AgCenter foundation seed program contain none of the genetically modified material from LL601, a Liberty Link line.

The latest round of test results, obtained Thursday (Sept. 7), concluded that LL601 is undetectable in foundation seed of five long-grain varieties, including Dellrose grown in 2005, and this year’s foundation seed of Cocodrie, Trenasse, Clearfield 131 and Clearfield 151.

Results from the first testing showed that only Cheniere foundation seed grown in 2003 contained trace amounts of LL601, but no trace of LL601 was detected in the Cheniere foundation seed from 2005.

Dr. David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for research, said this latest series of tests shows the problem appears to be limited to one variety grown in one year.

"We are fairly comfortable that LL601 can be eliminated from seed stocks," he said.

Further testing will be done by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The LSU AgCenter’s first round of tests, validated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, also indicated lots from 13 other varieties currently in the LSU AgCenter’s foundation seed program appeared to be free of LL601. The other varieties involved in the initial testing included Cocodrie, Cypress, Trenasse, Pirogue, Bengal, Jupiter, Clearfield 131 and Clearfield 161.

Liberty Link lines of rice were developed by Bayer CropScience to allow the Liberty herbicide to be sprayed on weeds without killing the rice plants. The USDA and the Food and Drug Administration have approved two Liberty Link lines similar to LL601, although those are not in commercial production, and federal authorities have concluded that Liberty Link rice poses no threat to food safety, human health or the environment.

Field research on Liberty Link was conducted in collaboration with Bayer CropScience at the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station near Crowley, La., from 1999 through 2001.

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Contacts:
David Boethel at (225) 578-4181 or dboethel@agcenter.lsu.edu
Steve Linscombe at (337) 788-7531 or slinscombe@agcenter.lsu.edu
Frankie Gould at (225) 578-2263 or fgould@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer:
Bruce Schultz at (337) 788-8821 or bschultz@agcenter.lsu.edu

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