GMO ban in Chinese province highlights major difference between public and government on biotech crops

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Source: China Dialogue

Heilongjiang province, the bread basket of north-east China, has banned the planting of genetically modified (GM) crops – the country’s first such ban at the provincial level. Given that Heilongjiang produces one tenth of China’s staple food crops, the move has sparked controversy and raised questions about the future of GM foods policy in the world’s biggest consumer market.

China has neither officially approved the planting of GM corn, rice or soya nor banned it outright. So far, no GM staple crops have been granted a license for commercial planting. However, China does allow the import of 80 different types of GM product for use in food processing, and large quantities of GM corn and soya are regularly imported.

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China’s Food Safety Law currently requires that GM food products be clearly labelled but lax law enforcement means that cheap unlabelled imported soya is dominating the Chinese market and damaging the interests of non-GM soya farmers and processors.

So far there are no signs that China’s central government objects to Heilongjiang’s move. But it is worth noting that Beijing is promoting the commercialisation of GM crops.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Local and central government differ over GMO policy

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