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New GM Corn Seed in China Named After James Bond

A veteran plant breeder in China develops new GM corn seed and names it 007.

Shipra Singh

007 - This isn't a James Bond movie, but the name of GM corn seed developed by a veteran plant breeder in the Hainan Province of South China. The breeder named Lyu Yuping has developed a genetic "chip" that wards off pests. This breeder is fond of James Bond and shares the belief "Nothing is Impossible." Hence the name 007.  

China, at present, is facing a major policy issue. The country has given the nod to a string of supporting policies to strengthen its seed industry.  

Lyu is dedicated to the seed breeding industry and agricultural technology for more than 20 years. He is the GM of Longping Biotechnology in Hainan. According to him, "since 2018, one type of pest, we call it the fall army worm, was imported from overseas. Later, they spread and destroyed corn production, costing 15-30% of losses to production every year.  

Lyu developed the genetically modified corn seed 007 with the objective to keep pests at bay so that the crop does not need much pesticides and other chemicals that contribute to crop deterioration, especially corn crop.  

"These 007 seed corns look better and have full shape. the normal ones look broken," says Lyu, showing the corn seeds to the media person.  

"The genetically modified organism will not help boost production itself, but it will ensure that damage is minimized, to keep up production as much as it can without pesticides," Lyu added. According to him, corn and soybean cultivation in China is just half of that in the US, as close to 100% of these crops are genetically modified in America. China has only begun to produce genetically modified corn and soybeans. 

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