Belgium and an alliance of six other European Union (EU) member states are pushing for the EU’s food control committees to develop monitoring systems to prevent unauthorised GM food imports into Europe.

Its move at the EU Council of Ministers follows the illicit import of unapproved GM American rice.

In a memorandum supported by Austria, Spain, Hungary, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Poland, Belgium called the EU standing committee on the food chain and animal health to swiftly “discuss concrete actions and/or measures to avoid and acquire the means of checking for the presence of unauthorised GMOs”. It also wants more research on the issue at the EU Joint Research Centre.