Edeka has stopped sales of rice sourced from the US after the news last week that an illegal strain of genetically modified rice had filtered into the European market.

The German retailer, which owns Spar and Netto, has cleared the product after 33 out of 162 samples of rice imports to Europe were found to contain illegal genetically modified strains.

The withdrawal is despite reassurances from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that the strain is unlikely to pose a significant threat to public health.