While giant genetically modified Chinese carp may leap onto the nation’s dinner tables in about two years, scientists are urging that the promotion of GM fish should be conducted slowly and meticulously to avoid a public pushback. The development of GM fish will have great economic value, protect national food security and help build sustainable agriculture, according to Wang Yaping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Hydrobiology, speaking in an exclusive inter-view with China Daily…Full Article: China.org.cn Sept 2017

Key Points

  • In 2016, according to China’s Fisheries Bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture, the country’s aquaculture industry was valued at CNY 2.37 trillion yuan (USD 365 billion). Freshwater grass carp production totaled 5.9 million MTs, making it the country’s most widely grown freshwater fish species.
  • From 2002 to 2012, according to a survey (~2,400 people) conducted by CAS’ Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, public acceptance for GM rice fell from 67% to 31%, while GM soybeans saw a decline of 55% to 23%. Over the same time period, those surveyed who viewed GM food as harmful increased from 32% to 45%.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In August 2017, researcher at the CAS’s Institute of Hydrobiology noted that China should promote market access for GM carp.
  • In July 2016, the CAS’s Institute of Hydrobiology and Dahu Aquaculture (SHA:600257) signed a contract to eventually commercialize GM crown carp and its infertile offspring, lucky carp. At the time, the Hunan Province-based Dahu Aquaculture primarily farmed freshwater fish.
  • In 1983, the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ (CAS) Institute of Hydrobiology began researching GM carp and successfully bred a GM carp in 1985. A growth hormone gene from the grass carp was inserted to speed up its maturity.

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