Biotech Updates

GM Crop Planting in Vietnam Set for 2012

August 26, 2011

Addressing a seminar in Hanoi last 23rd August, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong disclosed that large-scale growing of genetically modified crops could start in 2012. For the past year, Vietnam has been testing genetically modified (GM) crops including vitamin-rich rice, herbicide resistant and worm-free corn, and drought tolerant beans.

The first part of the field trial in the northern province of Vinh Phuc had been successful, said vice director of the Agricultural Genetics Institute Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy. Crop yields had been 30-40 percent higher than previously under the same conditions, corn quality is good and corn-eating worm population had dramatically reduced she added.

In addition, Le Huy Ham, the Agricultural Genetics Institute director, said more tests though need to be conducted. The field test will continue until the end of the upcoming winter crop season and other final tests will be conducted to assess the safety and quality of the GM corn. Over the next two months, the institute will submit a biological safety report to the National Biology Safety Council. GM corn will then undergo a larger-scale test at four typical ecological areas before being freely allowed in the rest of the country.

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