|April 14, 2005, as reported
by just-food.com: Genetically modified rice is growing “out
of control” in China according to a claim made by international
environmental organization Greenpeace Wednesday. The organization
claims to have found genetically modified rice, unapproved for human
consumption, growing among the Chinese countryside. It is the organization’s
belief that the plants have been planted and sold illegally for the
last two years.
Chinese officials are vehemently denying the claims. “I cannot
agree with the findings of the report by Greenpeace and I am wondering
if the tests conducted by the organization are scientific or not,”
said Zhu Xinquan, chairman of the Chinese Society of Agro-Biotechnology.
An official with the Office of Genetically Modified Organism Safety
under the ministry of Agriculture said, “We have not seen
the concrete testing reports. Moreover, the testing of GM rice seeds
should be based on China's technical standards.”
“We've asked the agricultural department in Hubei Province
to conduct on-the-spot examination on this issue,” said the
official who declined to be identified. The Chinese official admitted
that field trials of GE rice are being conducted in Hubei as well
in some other places. But the official said the plantation acreage
is limited to 30 mu (Two hectares).
“Sales of GM rice seeds are strictly prohibited and there
are GM safety offices at province level to conduct regular checks
on it,” the official said.