(Yicai Global) March 8 -- Genetically-modified organism (GMO) technology is safe and manageable Zhang Taolin, China's vice minister for agriculture, said yesterday at the meeting of the National People's Congress.
China supports innovation of GMO technology, but will apply it carefully and adopt strict rules to ensure its safety. China has not yet approved any commercial GMO crop, but launched a research project on GMO technology in 2008. The project is expected to end in 15 years, and investment is set to reach CNY24 billion, with CNY12 billion from the government.
The project focuses on both plants and animals -- rice, wheat, corn, soybeans, pigs, cattle and sheep. China follows internationally-recognized standards when assessing the safety of GMO technology, and has also formulated laws, regulations, rules and systems drawn from US and EU practices, but factoring in its own domestic situation.
The Chinese public has long suffered from food safety scares, so whether the Chinese public will be receptive to GMO foods or whether its negative reaction to such crops will be as intense as that in Western countries remains to be seen. What is clear is future opportunity beckons for those in the industry.