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Bt rice safe for aquatic fauna

The first study of rice paddy zooplankton exposed to Bt proteins from genetically modified insect-resistant rice has found no ill effects. Researchers from China’s Huazhong Agricultural University looked at the effects of a Cry1Ab/1Ac fusion protein that is expressed in two GM rice varieties, Shanyou63 and Minghui 63 on rotifers, cladocerans and copepods in field conditions. Results from the two-year study showed that, although there was significant variation in paddy field population densities of each group of zooplankton between years and rice developmental stages, there was no significant difference between Bt and conventional rice paddy fields.

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