China GMO debate mirrors US divide

On March 30, the Hainan Provincial Agricultural Department released a statement on its website, saying that nine corn and cotton samples out of 107 specimens planted in the southernmost Chinese province were identified as genetically modified (GM) last December and that they had been immediately destroyed. The department also revealed that the samples came from illegal trial farms for GM crops.

In December 2013, it was reported that illegal planting of GM corn and cotton had been uncovered in Hainan, but the local authority had remained silent on the issue until it gained attention online late last month.

Many critics have asked what took the Hainan agency so long to publicize their discovery of illegal GM crops.

“It is not about a single case. It is about the transparency over GM food,” said Shi Baozhong, a lawyer from east China’s Anhui Province. Shi issued an open letter last September to the China Food and Drug Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture asking them to publicize information on GM food in China.

Read the full, original article: The New Breed

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