Yuan Longping, the “father of hybrid rice,” recently spoke about his ongoing research into genetically modified food production, calling the process “the future” of food.
In a televised Xinhua interview later reported by People’s Daily, Longping acknowledged public worries about the safety of genetically modified foods, as well as the concern that pesticide resistant crops could transfer genes to insects and other pests. Despite these potential risks, Longping said that genetically modified foods were already widely eaten in China, “should not be generalised,” and had tremendous untapped potential.
“Three quarters of all the soybeans that [China] consumes are genetically modified ones from the United States,” he added. The renowned agricultural scientist also revealed that he was working with experts in Hunan’s Hybrid Rice Research Center to develop methods of combining genes from corn with rice – a process that could potentially create genetically modified grains with an increased photosynthetic efficiency of 50 per cent.
“This is the project of the century,” Longping said.
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