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China approves GM rice

GM phytase maize and Bt rice are the first genetically modified cereal crops to be granted approval in China (IRRI)
GM phytase maize and Bt rice are the first genetically modified cereal crops to be granted approval in China
IRRI

China has granted its first GM staple food crops biosafety certificates for smallscale field trials. But further approval will be required before the GM strains can be grown commercially, which may take another two-to-three years. While China has already allowed commercialisation of GM papaya, cotton and tomato, GM phytase maize and two strains of Bt rice are the first cereal crops to be granted approval for cultivation. The pest-resistant rice, developed by Huazhong Agricultural University, is designed to increase yields by eight per cent while reducing the use of pesticides by 80 per cent. The phytase maize, developed by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), makes it easier for farm animals to digest more of the phosphorous in the maize, increasing animal growth and reducing pollution. "We believe more genetically-modified technology will be used in agriculture production in future to increase production and reduce inputs," said Huang Jikun, CAAS chief scientist, speaking to Reuters.

Date published: January 2010

 

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