How China and US ‘secretly tested genetically modified golden rice on children’

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:07:13 EST, 11  September 2012| UPDATED:07:22 EST, 11 September 2012

Genetically manipulated Golden rice has been proposed as a solution to vitamin A deficiency
Genetically manipulated Golden rice has been proposed as  a solution to vitamin A deficiency

China’s health authorities are investigating  allegations that genetically modified rice has been tested on Chinese children  as part of a research project.

A recent scientific publication suggested that researchers, backed by the US Department of Agriculture, fed  experimental  genetically engineered golden rice to 24 children in China  aged between six and  eight years old.

The environmental group Greenpeace is  demanding a stop to field trials of the genetically enriched rice, which has  been proposed as a solution to vitamin A deficiency, as it says the rice carries  environmental and health risks.

China is the world’s largest grower of  genetically modified (GMO) cotton and the top importer of GMO soybeans but,  while Beijing has already approved home-grown strains of GMO rice, it remains  cautious about introducing the technology on a commercial basis amid widespread  public concern about food safety.

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and  Prevention investigation came after a report last month by environmental group  Greenpeace claimed that a U.S. Department of Agriculture-backed study used 24  Chinese children aged between six and eight to test genetically modified ‘golden  rice’.

The International Rice Research Institute is  working with leading nutrition and agricultural research organisations to  develop golden rice as a potential method to reduce vitamin A deficiency in the  Philippines and Bangladesh.

The research by Tufts University and other  Chinese scientists was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  in August. It aimed to demonstrate that the rice could provide a good source of  vitamin A for children in countries where deficiency in the vitamin is  common.

Andrea Grossman, assistant director of public  relations at Tufts University, told state news agency Xinhua that the university  was deeply concerned about the allegations and is reviewing protocols used in  the 2008 research.

‘We have always placed the highest importance  on human health, and we take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of human  research subjects,’ Grossman said.

‘We have always been and remain committed to  the highest ethical standards in research.’

The Greenpeace report sparked a wave of  criticism on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, with the researchers accused of  a breach of ethics for testing poor, rural children whose families may not have  been informed properly.

One of the Chinese authors, Shi-an Yin, has  been suspended from work pending further investigation after his responses  proved to be inconsistent.

Yin was cited by the official People’s Daily  newspaper as saying he helped collect data for the study but was unaware that it  involved GM rice.

The second of the two Chinese researchers, Hu  Yuming, denied his involvement in the research, the People’s Daily  said.

China, the world’s top rice producer and  consumer, approved the safety of one locally developed strain of genetically  modified rice, known as the Bt rice, in 2009, but commercial production has been  delayed.

Apart from genetically modified products,  China’s vast food sector is still struggling to come to grips with food safety  four years after a major scandal where tainted milk powder was blamed for the  deaths of at least six children

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2201536/GMO-How-China-US-secretly-tested-genetically-modified-golden-rice-children.html#ixzz26CwmzHjJ



Categories: . Genetically Modified Organisms, Scientfic Misconduct

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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  1. How China and US ‘Secretly Tested Genetically Modified Golden Rice on Children’ | THE JEENYUS CORNER « The Jeenyus Corner

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