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Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ban lifted on imports of U.S. long-grain rice

April 29, 2007

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— Cuba has lifted a ban on imports of U.S. long-grain rice that it put in place last year because of fears about genetic contamination.

Raul Sanchez, director of the U.S. division of the island's food import company Alimport, said Friday the ban was lifted earlier this month and that in recent weeks Cuba has imported 30,000 tons of long-grain U.S. rice and expects to import 10,000 more soon.

A U.S. announcement in August that American long-grain rice samples had tested positive for trace amounts of a genetically modified strain not approved for consumption prompted Japan to suspend its U.S. rice imports. Cuba imposed a ban of its own after conducting independent testing, Sanchez said.

Sanchez, who spoke during a meeting with U.S. medical company representatives, did not provide details about the exact date and why Cuba had lifted the ban, suggesting only that U.S. long-grain rice no longer appeared to be a problem.

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