Golden rice trial breached ethical guidelines


Golden rice, the β-carotene boosted genetically modified (GM) rice, which it is hoped will help to prevent cases of childhood blindness, has suffered another setback. Chinese researchers were judged to have breached ethical guidelines when they ran a trial in which children were fed the GM rice.

The trial was designed to test how efficiently β-carotene from the rice is converted into vitamin A once ingested with the results reported in August 2012. However, Greenpeace later raised the alarm in China when it became apparent that neither the parents or school teachers of the children taking part in the trial or the children themselves were aware they were eating GM rice.

The Ministry of Agriculture had previously assured the environmental group that golden rice would not be trialled in China because it hadn't received a biosafety certification and researchers had not applied for permission to import the rice into the country. After learning that golden rice had been fed to these children, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched an investigation that led to the sacking of three researchers: Yin Shi'an from the CDC, Wang Yin from the Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences and Hu Yuming from the provincial CDC in Hunan. Not only were the trio fired for violating regulations, but also for violating 'scientific ethics and academic integrity'.


Related Content

Roche disputes unethical East German trial claims

26 February 2014 Business

news image

Internal investigation concludes that 1980s trials were legally run and patients gave proper consent

Indian supreme court’s anger over unregulated clinical trials

25 January 2013 News and Analysis

news image

Tales of collusion between drug companies and regulators leads court to criticise the government

Most Read

Sun rises on new solar route to hydrogen

27 February 2015 Research

news image

Photocatalyst has solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 2% and points way to cheap production of the gas

Chemists zinc up ‘aromatic’ metal cubes

2 March 2015 Research

news image

Metal-organic clusters share electrons between eight covalently linked metal atoms

Most Commented

Sun rises on new solar route to hydrogen

27 February 2015 Research

news image

Photocatalyst has solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 2% and points way to cheap production of the gas

Hepatitis C drug patent challenged in Europe

19 February 2015 Business

news image

Campaign group says Gilead’s expensive blockbuster sofosbuvir is not innovative enough to warrant a patent