Prob­lems found atGMtest­ing cen­ter

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - ByWANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties found in a test­ing cen­ter for ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied an­i­mals and an­i­mal feed has ex­posed loop­holes in the man­age­ment of ge­netic mod­i­fi­ca­tion in China, and de­serves cau­tion from authorities for more in­ten­si­fied su­per­vi­sion, ac­cord­ing to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at the Cen­ter for Safety Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Test­ing GM An­i­mals and Feeds of the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture in­cluded fak­ing in­spec­tion records and us­ing stu­dents in­stead of cer­ti­fied tech­ni­cians to con­duct tests, the min­istry said.

The cen­ter, es­tab­lished by the In­sti­tute of An­i­mal Sci­ences un­der the Chi­nese Academy of Agri­cul­tural Sci­ences, had not is­sued any safety cer­ti­fi­ca­tions Huang Dafang, for ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied prod­ucts, the min­istry said.

It or­dered the cen­ter to sus­pend op­er­a­tions and make rec­ti­fi­ca­tions in the next six months, and or­dered the CAAS to se­ri­ously pun­ish those re­spon­si­ble.

The in­ci­dent at­tracted pub­lic at­ten­tion af­ter Wei Jingliang, a for­mer Ph.D. can­di­date at the in­sti­tute, claimed on­line on Sun­day that the test­ing cen­ter was in­volved in var­i­ous ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

Nei­ther CAAS, Wei nor the cen­ter re­sponded on Fri­day.

“The re­sponse by theMin­istry of Agri­cul­ture was quick,” said Huang Dafang, a chief re­searcher at the Biotech­nol­ogy Re­search In­sti­tute at the CAAS.

“The in­ci­dent has ex­posed man­age­ment prob­lems of some sim­i­lar in­sti­tutes, and serves as a warn­ing,” Huang said.

Those in­volved in sci­en­tific re­search must strictly abide by pro­fes­sional codes, and man­age­ment should also be strict for com­ment to en­sure that re­sults are ac­cu­rate and sci­en­tific, he said.

“Aca­demic mis­con­duct and im­proper man­age­ment in ge­netic mod­i­fi­ca­tion in China does ex­ist,” he said. “Re­lated authorities should in­ten­sify man­age­ment in the sec­tor, in­clud­ing of doc­u­ments and dossiers, to put such test­ing cen­ters un­der ef­fec­tive su­per­vi­sion and in­spec­tion.”

Mean­while, the pub­lic should not be mis­led by such in­ci­dents to re­ject ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied prod­ucts, as cer­ti­fied GM foods are safe, as agreed on by in­ter­na­tional aca­demic cir­cles, he said.

Yang Chunxue, a re­searcher in econ­omy at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, told Bei­jing News that all those in­volved in the ir­reg­u­lar­ity should be pun­ished, and sound man­age­ment sys­tems are needed in sim­i­lar sci­en­tific re­search in­sti­tutes to pre­vent re­oc­cur­rences.

The in­ci­dent has ex­posed man­age­ment prob­lems of some sim­i­lar in­sti­tutes, and serves as a warn­ing.”

chief re­searcher at the Biotech­nol­ogy Re­search In­sti­tute at the Chi­nese Academy of Agri­cul­tural Sci­ences

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