Genetically Modified Rice Causing Controversy in China

A recent study conducted in China’s Hunan province may have found children consuming genetically modified rice without the knowledge of their parents.
December 4, 2012

A recent study conducted in China’s Hunan province may have found children consuming genetically modified rice without the prior knowledge or approval of their parents according to Food magazine.

Much concern has been expressed by those parents and other Chinese citizens as a result.

The study in question was conducted by the United States’ own Tuft University in tandem with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Nutrition and Food Safety Institute. The purpose of the study was the gathering of data meant to address nutrition problems in children who live in rural areas. Approximately 68 children in Hengyang were involved in the study. It was conducted in the year 2008.

The rice in question is said to be golden rice, which is a genetically modified strain. The rice was fed to the children in order to test whether or not it could be of potential help in combating critical deficiencies of Vitamin A. However, some reports are conflicted in regards to whether or not the rice was genetically modified or not, causing a lot of confusion as a result.

Hu Yuming, one of the authors of the final research paper has officially denied the use of genetically modified golden rice in the experiments and insists that all grains and produce fed to the children involved in the study were locally sourced and naturally grown. Yuming is also a researcher at the Chinese CDC.

However, parents are still concerned that their children may have consumed the rice, as this would introduce the possibility that they were exposed to then untested GM ingredients. Their worry is only multiplied by the fact that the Chinese government has a history of covering up such practices and of intentionally misinforming the public in regards to similar matters.