Genetically modified rice & corn to grow in China, then the world

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from Singularity Hub:

China grows a lot of rice – about 60 million tonnes a year. It also consumes most of that, only exporting around 1% of its crop. So, high demand for production with little fear of export restrictions? Sounds like a recipe for genetic modification.

According to Reuters, China recently approved the commercial use of genetically modified rice and corn to be phased in probably within the next two to three years

Both strains of GM grains were created locally. Huazhong Agricultural University developed Bt rice, which contains proteins from Bacillius thuringiensis bacteria that allow it to resist the rice stem borer, a major pest in China. […]

[…] Others point out that GM crops are the intellectual property of the developers, which have almost exclusively been large chemical corporations. Farmers are (generally) not allowed to plant their own left over seeds from GM crops, but instead must purchase seed from the developer.

This is seen as an enforcement of the patent rights of the company, but there is concern over most of the world’s seed supply being under the control of a few business institutions.

I hope we get to see more debate on this issue in the near future.

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