The European Commission has ordered the 25 EU member states to step up controls at borders following a disclosure that illegal genetically modified rice from China has found its way into the French, German and UK markets.

Brussels said that traders who brought in the rice were "not doing enough" to check the food and were violating EU laws aimed at keeping out illegal GMOs.

The statement followed reports by environmental groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth that GM traces had been found in five rice products from China with possibly more to be discovered as rice was to be found in "everything from baby food to yoghurt."