Genetically modified (GM) rice may soon be part of a Chinese meal. "China has worked on research of transgenic rice and is strongly considering its commercialization," says Vice Minister of Agriculture Niu Dun. This was concurred by Cao Mengliang, a researcher on molecular rice at the China National Hybrid Rice R&D Centre, who added that: "Studies of the safety of the technology have been completed. Discussions about whether to open it up to the market are now in the final stages. Now, the safety certificate is the last thing needed before commercialized production."
China Daily reports that the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy notes that GM rice could lead to an 80 percent cut in pesticide use and that yields could increase by around 6 percent. China currently produces around 500 million tons of rice. With its population expected to grow to 1.6 billion by 2020, 630 million tons of rice will be needed.
The full article is available at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-08/25/content_8611098.htm