In recent times, a genetically modified rice product that is not approved in China has been approved here in the US. While it will technically come from China, the public there have expressed strong opposition to it.
This will be the very first Chinese product of its kind to enter the US market. It is called Huahui No. 1 rice and it has been developed by scientists at the Huazhong Agricultural University. This rice was genetically engineered to resist a wide range of bugs which is said to be something that will reduce the use of pesticides.
According to Global Times who spoke with Lin Yongjun a professor at Huazhong Agricultural University, due to their inability to run trials on the product, China has not yet allowed it to be grown. It seems they are considering growing this rice in Southeast Asian countries but their reach is currently quite limited.
Lin says that the University received an email on January 11th from the FDA approving the rice. This email was made public on the FDA’s website and can be viewed by clicking here. This email shows that the FDA itself recognizes the data and the ‘experimental’ method that was used by Chinese agencies in assessing the safety of this rice.
“Based on the safety and nutritional assessments Huazhong has conducted, it is our understanding that Huazhong has concluded that human and animal foods from Huahui No. 1 rice grain are not materially different in composition, safety, and other relevant parameters from rice-derived human and animal food currently on the market, and that genetically engineered Huahui No. 1 rice grain does not raise issues that would require premarket review or approval by the FDA.”
What do you think about this? Do you think allowing this product in the US is the right move? Sure, it cuts down on pesticides but genetic modification is a new battle that this world is not quite prepared for.