South Korea developing GMO rice varieties to fight climate change, but public skepticism remains

| | October 11, 2016
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Public opinion is divided into pros and cons over the South Korean government’s all-out efforts to develop genetically modified rice varieties….

Government officials are stressing the need to develop rice strains as varied as possible to prepare for climate change and other situations, while civic groups and other critics say there is no need for haste, particularly because the safety of genetically modified vice has not been ensured.

According to the Rural Development Administration (RDA) and other institutions, out of the 146 genetically modified organisms (GMO)-related research programs under way, 71 projects are on rice….

. . . .

…Seen from only a technical viewpoint, Korea is on the brink of commercializing gene-altered rice, the officials say.

“We should … prepare for all kinds of uncertainty in the future, including a situation when Korea cannot cultivate rice because of climate change,” said RDA administrator Chung Hwang-keun.

. . . .

“It takes more than a decade to develop one genetically modified rice strain,” said an RDA official. “To keep Korea from being subordinated to rival nations and global corporations technologically, the nation should secure technology concerning genetically modified rice.” The government is just preparing for the future and has no plans yet to cultivate the rice generally, he added.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Debate heats up over genetically modified rice

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