The farmer reaches down into a sack he keeps stored on the second floor of his house in a small farming village south of here and pulls up a fistful of rice that he says has no equal.
“This is really remarkable rice,” he says, forcing it into the hands of his guests. “All you do is plant it and it grows. You don’t need to use all those chemicals any more.”
The farmer and other crop growers in this area call this unique variety “anti-pest rice” because it acts as its own insect repellent in the rice paddies. But some Chinese growers and foreign specialists say they suspect much of this region’s rice has been genetically modified.
And in China, it is illegal to sell genetically modified rice on the open market.