China fines 8 biotechnology firms and research institutes for producing illegal GM seeds

Credit: Ma Longlong/Greenpeace
Credit: Ma Longlong/Greenpeace

[China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has] found eight companies and research institutes that illegally produced or carried out research on genetically modified (GM) seeds.

The companies included two seed marketing companies in northeast Liaoning province and two corn breeders in northwest Xinjiang province who were producing GM corn seed. The ministry said seeds were confiscated and the companies fined.

China does not permit the production or planting of GM corn.

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The ministry also highlighted four cases of illegal research into GM cotton. Though GM cotton is permitted in China, the ministry said the institutes and companies involved were working on genes that had not previously been authorised.

China’s top leadership said last year that biotechnology would be part of a campaign to improve food security, signalling Beijing could soon take a further step towards commercialising new GM crops.

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