Miscellaneous

Update: China okays large-scale field testing of GM rice

02.12.2009

Bejing/Brussels – China is the first country in the world to begin the commercialisation of a locally developed genetically modified (GM) rice variety. On 1 December, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture officially approved commercial field testing of a GM rice variety developed by researchers at the Huazhong Agricultural University. The “Huahui No.1” Bt maize, a marker-free GM rice that was back-crossed into Bt Shanyou 63 rice plants, expresses the cryA toxin, making it resistant to the rice stem borer and leaf roller. According to experts, it has the potential to reduce pesticide input by 80%, and to increase yield by up to 8%. However, it must still pass registration trials, which could take 2-3 years. With the development of the insect-resistant GM rice, which has been tested in smaller field trials for a number of years, China is trying to find a means of feeding its swelling population, currently 1.3bn strong. Experts predict that GM rice in China could be planted on 50% of the countries' rice fields (15m ha) in the end. Traces of transgenic Bt63 rice varieties have been periodically detected in food imports to Europe since 2005, and the event has been classified as “not safe” by UK authorities. According to market projections from Prof. Jikun Huang, Director of the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy in Beijing, an adoption of GM rice could reduce China’s dependence on rice imports by more than 20%, as well as increase its export rate for rice products such as rice noodles by 66%, generating a net gain of 4bn dollars for the Chinese economy (more…). With an annual output of 190m tonnes, China is the world’s top rice producer (world production in 2008 was 650 million tonnes). While Europe has implemented strict safety testing for GM crops not approved by the bloc, the US is still seeking ways to obstruct the inflow of transgenic species developed in countries such as China, India, or Brazil, who are all trying to commercialise locally developed GM crops (see USDA-OIG report 50601-17-Te). China has set up a 2bn-dollar research program that is aimed at the commercialisation of GM crops. The field testing of other rice varieties that carry blight resistance (Xa21 rice), or a Bt rice expressing the cry1Ab and the cpT1 gene, have been underway since the late 1990s. Countries including Indonesia, Pakistan, and Iran have also been testing GM rice varieties in field trials, but none of these have reached commercialisation. Last year, Nature magazine reported that gene flow from GM rice to its wild or weedy relatives could become an issue (Nature 455, 850-852). According to biodiversity researchers headed by Lu Baorong (Fudan University, Shanghai), the rate of gene flow from GM strains to wild and weedy rice is 3-18% and 0.01-0.05%, respectively. In contrast, experts say that gene flow of riece is near zero because it is a self-pollinating crop.

Politics / Law

23.03.2012

Brussels/Strasbourg – Health claims are set to be drastically limited in the EU. On Wednesday 21 March the Environment Committee of the European Parliament confirmed a proposal of the European Commission to prohibit 1,600 health...

Politics / Law

15.03.2012

Parma/Stockholm – Foodborne bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter are becoming more and more resistant to antimicrobial drugs, according to a joint report published by the European food watchdog EFSA and the European...

BioFunding

09.03.2012

In mid-February, scientists and entrepreneurs from nine EU countries met at the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona to launch the 4DCellFate project. Positioned within the FP7 Programme, the consortium will receive...

BioFunding

09.03.2012

Brussels – The EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) will establish the European Lead Factory, an EU-wide public-private partnership aiming to facilitate drug discovery efforts. The Lead Factory will comprise a...

Editorial

07.03.2012

T    he societal and economic challenges facing Europe and the world are complex and interconnected. The Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe”, which was adopted by the...

Tech Review

07.03.2012

Intellectual Property (IP) is without question one of the most vital aspects of any bio­tech venture, a key and undisputed factor for success. However, most bio­tech companies are still incapable of unlocking the value of their...

Clinical Trial

07.03.2012

Schlieren – Swiss Cytos Biotechnology Ltd. has been authorised to restructure a convertible bond by Canton of Zurich authorities. The company does not have enough cash to pay it back. Negotiations with bond holders failed in a...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

Munich – German 4SC AG jumped 39% to €2.05/share after oncology drug candidate resminostat met the primary endpoint of at least a 20% progression-free survival rate in a Phase II trial to treat patients with hepatocellular...

Editorial

06.03.2012

The start of 2012 witnessed the tides turning in favour of small and mid-cap names in the European Life Sciences sector. Major global biotechnology indices like the NBI, BTK, and BIOTK are up over 15% year to date. The pace of...

Displaying results 1 to 10 out of 1982

1-10 Next >

© 2007-2014 BIOCOM

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/news/messages-archive/archive/article/update-china-okays-large-scale-field-testing-of-gm-rice.html

Product of the week

Products

Events

All Events

Current issue

All issues