China’s genetically modified food market cannot be dominated by foreign products, a senior rural affairs official said on Tuesday [3 February 2015] amid calls by authorities for intensified efforts to ease public fears over GM products. The country will continue to support GM food research as a nation with a huge population to feed, the official said, also hinting that it will support the commercialization of domestic GM products. Han Jun, deputy director of the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, made the comments at a news conference. The group is China’s top rural affairs decision-making agency…Full Article: Feb 2015

Key Point

  • The Deputy Director of the Central Rural Work Leading Group noted that public perception of GM foods should change and that “rational voices” should be heard.

ChinaAg Comment

  • As of 2014, China has only approved the commercialization of a handful of genetically modified (GM) plants. These include GM poplar trees, petunias, cotton, papayas, tomatoes, and sweet peppers. As a rule, approvals for commercialization are only granted on a provincial/regional basis (i.e. not country-wide) and only after a long screening process. In 2009, two varieties of GM rice and one variety of GM corn (all developed in China) received “GM organism safety certification” as a possible precursor to commercialization. However, in mid-2014, this certification was allowed to expire amid poor public support for GM crops.

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