A type of genetically modified rice bred in China has passed safety inspections by the United States Food and Drug Administration, paving the way for it to be exported to the country, a university in China said.
The insect-resistant rice, Huahui 1, passed inspections on safety and nutrition by the FDA, Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, Hubei province, said in a statement on Sunday. The university received the notification on Saturday, it said.
Previously, the rice had passed safety inspections by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on pesticide residue levels, the university said.
"Having passed safety inspections by the FDA and EPA, Huahui 1 and its products are able to be exported to the U.S. for consumption," the statement said. "It suggests safety evaluations by Chinese testing institutes of Huahui 1 have been fully recognized by institutes in the U.S.."
Huahui 1 was successfully bred by the university in 1998 and was awarded with a biosafety certificate by China's Ministry of Agriculture in 2009, following safety evaluations that lasted for nearly 10 years, according to the university.
The species can effectively resist insects such as larva, and can greatly reduce the use of pesticides during production, the university said.
The university has been seeking safety evaluations for the rice overseas to make preparations for export of China's insect-resistant GM rice, it said.
GM rice is not likely to win approval from agricultural authorities in China for large-scale production in the next few years, so researchers in the university looked to the U.S. for commercial use of the product, according to a report by the Science and Technology Daily.
Of all major agricultural products in China, only GM cotton has been grown on a large scale in China, according to Wan Jianmin, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
More than 150 types of insect-resistant GM cotton have been cultivated in China since 2008－planted in 28.6 million hectares－which helped cut the use of pesticides by 60 percent, he told Science and Technology Daily.
China has the world's most strict safety evaluation system for GM products, and all GM products that have passed inspections by the authorities in China are safe, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The ministry will further encourage GM research and development, and promote industrial-scale production of major GM agricultural products such as insect-resistant cotton and corn, the ministry said.