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GM rice scandal alarms researchers: ministry

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-10 22:17

BEIJING - A 2012 scandal involving a test of genetically modified (GM) rice has alarmed medical and health care researchers, a Ministry of Health spokesman said on Thursday.

Spokesman Deng Haihua said at a press conference that the incident should serve as a reminder of the importance of cultivating scientific ethics and academic integrity.

"A small number of researchers lack awareness of the law and have poor moral discipline," said Deng, adding that poor management still exists in some scientific institutions.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed in December 2012 that a joint US-China GM rice test was conducted on 80 students in Central China's Hunan province in 2008. Participating researchers failed to inform the students' parents that GM rice was used in the test.

Deng called on relevant departments and institutions to draw lessons from the incident by strengthening their management while encouraging international cooperation in the area.

Three officials who approved and conducted the test have been sacked for "violating relevant regulations, scientific ethics and academic integrity".

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