Is There Rice Fraud in Australia?

Genetically modified foods have become an issue of concern in Australia and throughout other countries.
March 28, 2013

Genetically modified foods have become an issue of concern in Australia and throughout other countries. However, through strict testing and regulation by governing bodies like the Food and Safety Commission of Australia and New Zealand, any GM foods that are sold or served in the country are tested before they are allowed on shelves. There are still points of concern, however, and a current issue with rice from China is the subject of some of the problems.

China And Rice

China is known as one of the major rice producers and distributors in the world. Additionally, the country is known for being one of the leaders in genetically modified food products. Because the rice used in Australia is imported from China, there is concern about the safety of the products.

Many believe that China doesn’t have the strong governing laws for testing and safety when it comes to GM food products. Some are concerned that the rice currently being exported may not be thoroughly checked for safety before it is exported.

Another even greater concern is that some companies in China may be exporting rice without making third party shippers and vendors aware that the items have been genetically modified. All GM foods must be declared before they can be imported into Australia, so this concern is currently being called the Australia rice fraud.

Is There a Concern?

It is worrisome that rice may not be declared as GM. In this type of instance, the imports may not be thoroughly checked by FSANZ. Therefore, foods that could be potentially dangerous may be sold on shelves, putting consumer safety at risk.

However, FSANZ is aware of the problem and new import regulations are being put into effect. In order to protect consumers, all rice imports from China are subject to review, testing, and safety measures in order to determine if it is genetically modified or not. This is the best way to ensure all rice products are safe before they are sold in Australia.

Genetically modified foods that are sold in New Zealand and Australia have been thoroughly tested for safety and it's important to note that there isn't anything inherently unsafe about GM foods. Governing bodies like FSANZ work to ensure consumers do not have to worry about any dangers from these items. However, testing does not work if exporters who provide products from other countries do not properly declare their items as GM. It is required by law that all foods are properly declared, and this has brought serious concern about rice exports from China.