New study points tolikely source of GE rice contamination in China (II)
By Greenpeace International
Edited by Federico Ferrero
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The Chinese government has been evaluating the proposed release of GE rice in the country but has not yet approved any varieties due to unresolved environmental, health and economic issues.
The Science article claims that GE rice is needed to improve rice production and reduce environmental impacts – claims that are strongly disputed by Greenpeace. “The research paper is an economic analysis that fails to take into account the environmental or health risks of GE rice. Instead of investing in the high risk strategy of genetic engineering, China should be investing in real, long-term solutions to sustainability in agriculture.” (2) (3)
“GE is an anti-farmer technology that locks farmers into monoculture farming, high seed costs and risks of consumer rejection. The Government needs to act immediately to stop further contamination, to uphold the law and to investigate the scientists who have released unapproved GE rice,” Sze concluded.
Notes to editors:
(1) Huang, J., Hu, R., Rozelle, S. & Pray, C. 2005. Insect-resistant GM Rice in farmers’ fields: assessing productivity and health effects in China. Science, 688-690. 29th April 2005.
(2) A United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) program into Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in China resulted in a reduction of pesticide use of over 45% - without any of the environmental, health or market risks of genetic engineering. See Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Green Farming in Rural Poverty Alleviation in China http://www.unescap.org/rural/doc/ipm2002/ch04.pdf
(3) A study into the adoption of GE Bt cotton in China concluded that farmers still over-used pesticides on pest-resistant crops. It found that farmers in small-scale production systems require training in identification of pests, natural predators, basic ecology and integrated pest management in order to ensure sustainable production. Yang, P, Iles, M., Yan,S., Jolliffe, F.2004. Farmers’ knowledge, perceptions and practices in transgenic Bt cotton in small producer systems in Northern China. Crop Protection, 24 (2005) 229-239.
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.
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