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Hubei province investigates alleged GM rice scandal

2014-07-29 13:56 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Gu Liping

Authorities in Hubei are investigating the illegal sale and cultivation of genetically modified rice in the central Chinese province.

The investigation follows media reports suggesting GM rice is widely on sale in Hubei and neighbouring provinces.

Genetically modified rice for commercial production or sale has never been authorized here in China.

Dai Guizhou, the head of Hubei's Agriculture Department, says they're running an inspection into local seed companies.

"No companies are allowed to sell GM seeds, and seed-producing companies are forbidden from using genetically modified rice. A company will be disqualified from selling seeds if it's found to have failed to meet the standards."

The seeds on sale are reportedly one of the two varieties developed in 1999 by a professor at an agricultural university in Hubei.

China's Ministry of Agriculture did authorize the experimental planting of the two varieties and issued them with safety certificates.

But they have never been approved for commercial planting.

The professor who created the strains is denying any involvement in the spread of the GM rice.

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