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There is a genetically modified (GM, also called genetically engineered) virus-resistant papaya grown in Hawaii and some is also grown in China.

The first GM papayas were commercially grown in Hawaii in 1998 and the “Rainbow” GM papayas were first imported to Canada in 2003. There is around 1000 hectares of GM papaya grown in the US and 6895 in China.


The GM papaya, developed at the University of Hawaii. is generally celebrated as having saved the papaya industry in Hawaii from the Papaya RIngspot virus. However, the GM papaya has also resulted in widespread contamination.

Click here for more information on GM papaya in Hawaii and China.


August 2018: In China, the virus resistance in genetically modified virus-resistant papaya has broken down under pressure from a new lineage of the virus. Read the story.