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China’s Bt rice biosafety certificates expire

Biosafety certificates for the only two approved strains of Chinese genetically modified pest-resistant Bt rice, Huahui No1 and Bt Shanyou 63, have expired, reports Chinese newspaper, the Dongfang Daily. They were valid for a period of five years from August 17th 2009 to August 17th 2014. The authorities have yet to release information concerning validity extensions of the certificates. If the certificates are not renewed, it will represent a step backwards for the mass production of GM crops in China, the paper adds. Both strains of Bt rice were developed by China’s Huazhong Agricultural University’s national key laboratory of crop genetic improvement, and the Bt rice was only permitted for cultivation in Hubei province.

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