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Interview: Tufts University says probe under way on GM rice test in China

By Ren Haijun (Xinhua)

17:35, December 07, 2012


WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Tufts University is aware of the announcement made by Chinese public health authorities on a genetically modified (GM) rice research, and finds it inappropriate to make further comments at this time when its reviewing on the project is still ongoing, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

"While we respect China's review process which led to the statement, it would be premature for Tufts University to reach any conclusions before investigations currently under way in the United States are completed," Andrea Grossman, assistant director of public relations at the Massachusetts-based institution, told Xinhua in an email.

Grossman said that Tufts immediately initiated a full review in August to determine if proper study procedures were followed after being aware of questions surrounding a GM rice study conducted in China in 2008 by Guangwen Tang, director of the Carotenoids and Health Laboratory of Tufts University.

As part of that review, the university convened a five-member panel composed of distinguished academics from leading universities in the United States.

The panel is charged with determining whether the study was in compliance with Chinese, U.S. and Tufts requirements for scientific research.

It was also asked to examine Tufts' institutional policies and practices to determine if they are appropriate to ensure full compliance with the laws and regulations of other countries in which Tufts is engaged in research.

According to Grossman, the panel's investigation is proceeding as expeditiously as possible in its effort to conduct a comprehensive and objective review. When the panel finishes its work, the university will review its conclusions and determine what further steps, if any, may be appropriate.

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