China to impose new GMO regulations

10-01-2011 | |

The Chinese parliament seems poised to make some sweeping changes concerning genetically-modified organisms (GMO). It is questionable, whether it will change anything in the field.

China, which has typically been far more cautious about GMOs than Western countries like the US, may soon enact what some say are stricter management laws concerning the import, export, research, development and production of GMOs.
According to Reuters, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture last year approved GM strains of rice and corn in China, which triggered backlash from groups concerned about the safety of such "Frankenfoods".
The approval set the stage for the widespread cultivation and distribution of GM corn and rice in the nation within the next two or three years. And the report also states that China is now the largest producer in the world of GM cotton.
Tighten GMO restrictions
Chinese governments have recently indicated, however, that they plan to tighten GMO restrictions, which will allegedly improve GMO management practices.
Part of the plan will include enacting a new "grain security law" to encourage local governments to produce more grain, and to do so in accordance with regulatory guidelines.
But many groups are concerned that existing regulations are not even being enforced, let alone any new ones that aim to improve GMO management.
A Greenpeace investigation found that illegal sales of certain GMOs have already been taking place in various parts of the country, even though regulations similar to the ones being proposed have been on the books since 2001.
Any new regulations are likely to have little impact in stemming the tide of increased GMO propagation, however. Despite China being more wary of GMOs than some other nations, current trends indicate that the nation is progressively accepting more of them.

Dick Ziggers Former editor All About Feed