Update on GMOs in China

Source: GM Watch


The journalist Ms Yinghui Zhang-Carraro has written a letter to GM Watch on GMOs in China, which is published here. Ms. Zhang-Carraro has a column on a web based forum in China on the organic sector and natural/simple living. She started some research about GM in China last May and has published two articles on the subject in the column. She found that GM cotton, papaya, sweet pepper, tomato, poplar, and petunia are already commercialized in China, while the government had never informed the general public about the GM food grown. Though officially China says 70 % of cotton grown in the country is GM cotton, in 2008 the minister for the Ministry of Science and Technology said 90 % of cotton grown in China was GM cotton. China has been doing research and trials on dozens of crops and many animals as well and this figure could be about 100 varieties. (Picture: Ms Zhang-Carraro at BioFach 2012 in Nuremberg)

GM carp research started in 1983 and it was reported in 2000 that commercially farmed such carp would be soon available. China has been importing GM cotton, soy beans, corn, rapeseed and sugar beet. The scientist (Prof. Qifa Zhang) who developed GM rice in China revealed in 2010 to a newspaper that China imported 40 million tons of GM soybeans the previous year and almost all of them were made into oils to feed the Chinese. It is impossible to verify the percentage of GM papaya grown in China but it seems nearly all contain GMOs. According to Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops 2010 by ISAAA (published February 2011), “Subject to commercial approval, Bt rice in China could be available in about three years from now.” And “Phytase maize is also likely to be available in China in about three years.” It is certain that animal feed in China contain huge amount of GMOs which can be seen from the GM imports.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) China has a platform dedicated to GMOs where all positive news and reports can be found. Since last October, the MOA started to employ the controlled public media such as Central TV Station and Radio to promote public understanding of GMOs. The only NGO that openly stands up against GM in China is Greenpeace. All other voices from individuals are not united yet, and there is no voice from the organic sector. There is not a single page covering organic farming on the website of MOA. The links of the articles of Ms. Zhang-Carraro (in Chinese) can be found here  and here.



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