Ventria Bioscience

Kansas State University

A Chinese scientist has been convicted of conspiring to steal trade secrets by smuggling rice seeds from a Kansas bioscience facility.

Weiqiang Zhang was a rice breeder for Ventria Bioscience in Junction City. The company had genetically programmed rice to make several different human proteins, which can be extracted for use in medicine and therapy. Ventria CEO Scott Deeter says its valuable technology.

“We’ve invested in our company about $85 million," Deeter says. "Now, we primarily use rice, but it also could be used in corn, or sorghum or barley.”

A Chinese scientist accused of stealing trade secrets from a Kansas research facility has to remain in federal custody, at least until his next court appearance.

Weiqiang Zhang was an agricultural seed breeder at a Ventria Bioscience's facility in Junction City.

Zhang was charged last week with conspiracy to steal trade secrets.


Two crop scientists from China are accused of trying to steal rice seed samples from a biopharmaceutical research facility in Kansas. Federal charges have been filed against the two men in U.S. District Court, in Kansas City, Kansas.