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BIOTECH BITS

The cultivation of genetically modified insect-resistant rice leads to reduced pesticide usage, Chinese field trials show. Researchers from the Chinese Nanjing Agriculture University conducted trials in 2008 on two lines of GM rice, Huahui 1 and Bt Xianyou 63, with help from the China National Rice Research Institute. Their findings have been published in the American Eurasian Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. When pesticides were applied on non-target pests only, cultivation costs were reduced from 3 yuan/ha ($0.50/ha at the current rate) to 1.3 yuan/ha ($0.20/ha) in Anhui province; and from 5.5 yuan/ha ($0.80/ha) to 3 yuan/ha in Hubei province.

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