A Chinese consumer backlash against genetically modified (GMO) crops is beginning to dent demand for soy oil, the nation’s main cooking oil, and could spell crisis for the multi-billion-dollar crushing industry, which depends on GMO soybeans from the United States and elsewhere.
Soyoil sales account for about 36 percent of cooking oils used in Chinese kitchens, more than three times the next highest, and most of it is made from imported soybeans, which are nearly all genetically modified.
The Chinese government says GM foods are as safe as conventional foods, but wealthier urban consumers are replacing soyoil with sunflower, peanut or sesame, all free of biotech raw materials.
A Nielsen survey last year showed about 70 percent of consumers in China limited or avoided at least some foods or ingredients, compared with a global average of 64 percent, with 57 percent naming GMOs as undesirable.
“Everyone says soyoil has GMOs,” said Mr Liu, a 70-year-old Beijinger, shopping with his wife in Walmart. “Better not eat too much. Apparently they’re not safe. It’s like those hormones. I’m just as afraid of eating GMOs as hormones.”
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Crushing blow to soy processors as Chinese grow wary on GMO
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