Conspiracy theories and food safety crises feed GMO opposition in China

| | September 29, 2016
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A wholesale vegetable market in China
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

…In 1992, China became the first country to introduce a GMO crop into commercial production… virus-resistant tobacco… Since then, the government has issued safety certificates for a wide range of GMO crops… Yet, so far at least, only cotton has gone into wide cultivation…

…[T]he government is clearly worried about widespread public opposition to GMOs, which is showing up on social media and among the urban middle class.

The first source of that opposition is a widespread belief that GMOs are a foreign conspiracy against Chinese health… In 2013, a major general in the People’s Liberation Army wrote an op-ed for …[the] Global Times newspaper that compared GMOs to biological weapons.

. . . .

But the far more damaging source of anti-GMO sentiment is the broadly held certainty that the government is incapable of ensuring a safe food supply — GMO, or otherwise. It’s a legitimate concern. For three decades, China has suffered through a string of food safety scandals, including dead pigs floating in the Yangtze River and rats masquerading as hotpot mutton.

. . . .

…[U]ntil the Chinese government addresses the lack of confidence in its food safety programs, in particular, it’s likely to face considerable and growing opposition to [its] GMO program…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: China Wants GMOs. The Chinese People Don’t.

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