Export-hungry British government please note: GM food regarded as ‘controversial’ in China
Zhang Junmian reports that Cui Yongyuan, a political advisor, writer, director, sound designer and former CCTV host, has called on the government to strengthen supervision of GM crops.
GM food is described as a controversial issue for the Chinese public, who are sceptical about its safety and question the lack of labelling of GM ingredients in consumer goods.
Yongkuan challenged by Chinese-born US scientist who promotes GM corn
In January US resident Fang Shimin, a vocal supporter of GM technology, who graduated in China and obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry in Michigan State University “engaged in a fierce war of words on a microblog with Cui” after he had questioned Fang’s promotion of GM corn last year. Fang has charged Cui with defamation in a Beijing district court.
In March, before the opening of the second session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s national advisory body, Cui Yongyuan said the government should strengthen its supervision of the commercialization of GM crops, especially the practice of illegally growing GM crops:
“According to our surveys over the past six months, GM crops, including GM corn and rice, are illegally grown on a large scale in some Chinese provinces, including Jilin, Guangxi, Hunan and Hubei. The reality is that many GM crops have entered our food chain.”
Cui said that any foods that contain GM ingredients should be explicitly labeled to allow consumers to decide whether they want to buy them. On March 1, Cui uploaded online a 68-minute-long documentary based on his surveys on the status quo of GM food production and consumption in the United States in December 2013. He announced on his micro blog that the video was being made available for free, with the aim of presenting the controversies on GM crops overseas and arousing the public’s awareness of health.
So far, China has approved only the production of GM cotton, and only on an experimental basis, according to Cui, but Niu Dun, China’s vice minister of agriculture, later said that the country currently permits production of GM cotton and papaya. No GM staple foods, such as meat, eggs, milk or seafood, are allowed in commercial production.
Posted on March 25, 2014, in Conflict of interest, Government, Vested interests and tagged 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, British government, China, Cui Yongyuan, Exports, Fang Shimin, GM corn, GM cotton, Illegally grown GM crops, Labelling GM ingredients, USA, Video documentary. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.