China jumpstarts GM, worries about ‘foreign domination’

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China does not want its genetically modified food (GM) market to be dominated by foreign products (and thus foreign companies). Such assurance by officials of Central Rural Work Leading Group, China’s top agency in charge of rural work and agricultural affairs, are necessary to convince the people that the country’s leadership is serious about food security.

Like most other subjects, the GM seed issue has also prompted experts to compare China and India. And since the acreage of GM crops in India is 11.6 million hectares, some Chinese experts say China should bring more areas under GM crops because its GM crop acreage is “only” 3.9 million hectares.

The fact is, despite having the fourth-largest acreage of GM crops in the world, India has not (yet) allowed any GM experimentation with food grains, vegetables or fruits. Moreover, almost the whole of India’s 11.6 millions hectares of GM crops last year consisted of Bt cotton (from seeds supplied by Monsanto, the American company that controls much of “Bollgard” technology or Bt) and thus the Indian market.

The question is: Does China want to prevent a Monsanto-like monopoly or does it just want to use discretion in allowing the use of GM seeds to grow food crops? It’s difficult to say. But it would be refreshing to see a State-run GM seed company, whose intention is not to earn profits but to ensure a country’s food security, taking on the mega-seed companies that have been ruling the international market.

Read full, original article: GM is a question of public or private good

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