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ChemChina’s proposed takeover of Syngenta fuels GMO fears among some in China

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The opposition to genetically altered food and grains in China has been brought to the forefront by China National Chemical’s $US43 billion deal to buy Swiss agro-giant Syngenta, a leading producer of genetically engineered seeds. The ChemChina deal would be by far China’s biggest foreign acquisition.

While China doesn’t allow planting of such seeds for grains like soybeans, many in the agriculture business expect that to gradually change once the Syngenta acquisition clears regulatory ­hurdles, expected later [2017].

Any changes could face resistance from local farmers and other Chinese. “All we know is that it’s not natural,” said Li Shubin, who grows corn on his family’s plot in Changfu village, near Zhaodong. … “There could be problems with the food’s safety, so if that’s the case, we wouldn’t dare use it.”

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banners also read: “Monsanto, get out of China!”, “Mankind must end Monsanto and Syngenta before they end Mankind!”, and “Using massive funds to acquire Syngenta is harming the people selling out China, deserves death!”

Fear of genetically modified grains stems in part from wide distrust of China’s food industry, where scandals have killed or sickened thousands. In one of the worst, tainted milk and baby formula sickened nearly 300,000 children, and killed six, in 2008.

“You don’t bring Syngenta to China and leave biotechnology out,” said William Niebur, president of Origin Agritech, a Nasdaq-listed seed research company.

That may be the plan, but it’s complicated by resistance in rural communities….

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: In China, Syngenta Deal Feeds Local GMO Fears (behind paywall)

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