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China, US may have ‘secretly’ tested genetically modified ‘Golden Rice’ on Chinese kids: Report

London, Sep 12 (ANI): China’s health authorities are investigating allegations that the genetically modified ‘Golden Rice’ was tested on Chinese children as part of a research project.

A recent scientific publication by Tufts University and other Chinese scientists has suggested that researchers, backed by the US Department of Agriculture, fed experimental genetically engineered golden rice to 24 children in China aged between six and eight years old.

The environmental group Greenpeace is now demanding a stop to field trials of the genetically enriched rice, which has been proposed as a solution to vitamin A deficiency, as it says the rice carries environmental and health risks, the Daily Mail reports.

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention investigation came after a report last month by environmental group Greenpeace claimed that a U.S. Department of Agriculture-backed study used 24 Chinese children aged between six and eight to test genetically modified ‘golden rice’.

The International Rice Research Institute is working with leading nutrition and agricultural research organisations to develop golden rice as a potential method to reduce vitamin A deficiency in the Philippines and Bangladesh.

The research by Tufts University and other Chinese scientists was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August. It aimed to demonstrate that the rice could provide a good source of vitamin A for children in countries where deficiency in the vitamin is common, the paper said.

The Greenpeace report sparked a wave of criticism on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, with the researchers accused of a breach of ethics for testing poor, rural children whose families may not have been informed properly, the paper added. (ANI)

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