Food authorities are conducting strict checks on the market in order to detect any genetically modified rice that has been illegally imported into the country, President of the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) Ioannis Vlemmas told Kathimerini yesterday. Vlemmas said that about 20 tons of the rice had been smuggled into Greece throughout 2006 but has since been pulled off supermarket shelves. The head of EFET was responding to calls from the environmental group Greenpeace to speed up checks on the food market. Greenpeace accused EFET of being slow and said that it takes about a month for control mechanisms to roll into action from when the order is given. The environmental group also called on EFET to publish the methods it intends to use to keep a watch out for GMO rice in Greece as a means of protecting consumers. Genetically modified Chinese rice has also been detected in France, Germany, England, Holland and Belgium.