Researchers in China have successfully created genetically modified purple rice that is rich in antioxidants and thus has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, according to the study published this week in the journal Molecular Plant. The added health benefits of the new rice came from high levels of anthocyanins, a group of antioxidant-boosting pigments that also provide the purple, red or blue colors of many fruits and vegetables…Full Article: Xinhua July 2017

Key Point

  • A team of research scientists from South China Agricultural University (Guangzhou, Guangdong Province) created GM purple rice

ChinaAg Comments

  • In 2013, China had approved 96 varieties of super hybrid rice strains, with cultivation reportedly occurring on 4 million ha or roughly 24% of China’s rice paddy fields.
  • In August 2009, the GM rice varieties of Shanyou 63 and Huahui-1/TT51-1, as well as one GM corn variety BVLA430101 receive safety certificates from the Ministry of Agriculture. In January 2015, China reissued safety certificates for both GM rice varieties.
  • In 2006, South China Agricultural University was granted permission to cultivate Huanong No. 1 (GM papaya), with initial plantings taking place in Guangdong Province. By 2012, approximately 95% of Guangdong’s papaya production was of the GM variety, with cultivation also expanding into Hainan Island that year.
  • In 2000, GM rice commercialization hit a roadblock when China suspended the commercialization of all GM crops after signing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
  • Since the mid-1980s, China had invested heavily in GM rice research with the hope and confidence of eventual government approval for its widespread cultivation and commercialization. Despite government backing via research grants and funding, commercial approval would not be forthcoming.

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