Published: March 29, 2022

Category: Non-GMO News

A salt-tolerant rice, produced with conventional breeding, is being touted as a booster to China’s food security.

Developed by scientist Yuan Longping, the rice has reported a yield of 4.6 metric tons per acres last year, higher than the national average for standard rice. However, current researchers are supposedly trying to introduce GM traits into the program— “pirating” the conventionally bred salt-tolerant crop, adding in different genes through genetic modification, and then patenting the resulting crop as a new “GM success.” This would be easier than starting from scratch to product salt tolerance, a complex genetic trait. As it stands, the non-GMO salt-tolerant rice is one of several examples of successful conventional breeding—a group of crops including potatoes, soybeans, and wheat.

Qifa Zhang, a researcher known for aggressively promoting GMOs—he is a suspect in the illegal and deliberate spread of GM Bt rice in 2014, a product he developed—is doing research on improving nutrient qualities in rice. In an article published in Nature Reviews Genetics in 2021, he claims using “genomic breeding technologies” to breed black rice varieties with enhanced texture and flavor.

GM Watch reached out to confirm that he was not currently using GM technology; he did not respond.

Source: GM Watch

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights April 2022