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China cracks down against illegal GM crop testing at corporations and research centers

The continued illegal sale of genetically modified (GM) food in parts of China has prompted the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to order officials to track down possible testing facilities.

In a document published yesterday, the ministry asked agricultural supervisors to look for possible unauthorised genetic modification testing sites at research institutions, universities and corporations. It also ordered local governments to step up the supervision of GM food in the market. The government has only approved two genetically modified plants – insect-resistant cotton and virus-resistant papaya – to be harvested for commercial purposes. But the ministry acknowledged yesterday that the “illegal spread of GM food in certain areas”, which it said has sparked off public debate.

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The agriculture ministry wants “comprehensive, systematic and thorough” supervision on every stage of the process – from experimenting, examining varieties and production to processing and sales. It ordered harsh punishments for those who fail to label their food as genetically modified, according to regulations. “We hope that the MoA will make substantial efforts to find out how illegal GMO crops leaked out and stop this at the source,” says Wang Jing, Food and Agriculture Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.

Read the full, original article: China orders hunt for facilities illegally producing genetically modified food

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