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23.01.2018 |

US gives safety approval to Chinese genetically modified rice strain

BEIJING: A rice genetically modified (GMO) by Chinese researchers to resist pests has passed safety inspections by authorities in the United States, allowing for its sale there even though Beijing continues to prohibit planting of any GMO food grain.

The rice, known as Huahui 1, was developed by a team at Huazhong University in central Hubei province to resist pests like the rice stem borer. While Chinese authorities granted the strain a safety certificate in 2009, it has never been approved for commercial production.

Beijing has spent billions of dollars researching GMO crops but has held back from commercial production of any food grains because of consumer concerns about their safety. Validation of the country's GMO safety testing and products by U.S. authorities could help persuade the government and consumers in China to accept the products at home.

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China has said it aims to push forward the commercialization of GMO corn and soybeans by 2020 but has not made public any plans to approve planting of GMO rice, the country's most important staple food.

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