The Food Standards Agency has changed its advice to retailers regarding illegal US long grain GM rice in the light of a risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority.

The FSA is warning retailers that"any rice known to be contaminated with GM material is illegal and should be removed from sale".

It had previously told retailers that it "would not be proportionate" to withdraw rice that contained the material as it was not thought an imminent risk to heath.

A spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth said: "The FSA's response to this has been disgraceful. It should have issued this advice right from the start."