Chinese Scientists Ready To Test Genetically Modified Rice

February 14, 2000
Kyodo News Service

Scientists in China's coastal Zhejiang Province have developed a genetically altered strain of rice that is resistant to herbicides, China's state media reported Monday.

Xinhua News Agency quoted researcher Huang Danian of the China Rice Research Institute as noting the anti-herbicide rice strain will allow weeds and low-quality rice to be killed using herbicides, while the modified rice will be improved in overall quality and output.

The report claims that the new rice is the world's first transgenetic rice strain.

The Xinhua report concluded by noting scientists have ''unequivocally shown the genetically altered rice is harmless to people's ealth.''

In January, China Business Information Network reported China had 300,000 hectares of GM crops under cultivation, cotton being the most common. China's figure was exceeded only by the United States, Canada and Argentina, the report noted.

Attitudes toward bioengineered foods vary widely, with the government and populace of the U.S. taking a generally benign view while many Europeans voice pointed concern.

And in China, some lawmakers have called for improved control of GM foods.

Return to the home page of Better Foods