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China gives genetically modified corn and rice the boot

Genetically modified (GM) rice and genetically modified corn used to have a place in China, as one of Monsanto's, and other bio-tech companies, main growing regions. In a program that was believed to reduce the use of pesticide use and boost production leading to a boost in revenue, a program was started, a few years ago, in China that included growing of GM rice and GM corn. On August 17, 2014, China, during a meeting to possibly renew this program halted the production of GMO rice and corn in its country, effectively kicking the bio-tech companies to the curb.

Golden and white rice
wikimedia.org

According to RT.com, a major news site, in an article dated August 21, "In a surprise U-turn, China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to continue with a program which developed genetically-modified rice and corn. Some environmentalists say public concerns about GM crops played a key role in the decision. On August 17, when these permits were up for renewal, the Ministry of Agriculture decided not to extend them. In 2009, the ministry's Biosafety Committee issued approval certificates to develop the two crops, rice and corn."

Wang Jing, one of China's Greenpeace officials, wrote to ScienceInsider an email stating, "We believe that loopholes in assessing and monitoring GMO research, as well as the public concern around safety issues are the most important reasons that the certifications have not been renewed." RT.com writes, "According to the South China Morning Post, state television commissioned tests on five packets of rice, which were picked at random, and found three contained genetically-modified rice. It is illegal to sell or commercially grow GM rice in mainland China. The safety certificates issued in 2009 only allowed the rice to be planted for research purposes, but never for sale on the open market."

The GM rice, as we knew here in the US, was the golden rice that was being found in public circulation, being sold to actual people. Again, this was illegal use of the China grown GM rice and it was not taken well in their country, nor the US and others places for concern. China, since last year, has been turning away GMO corn shipments from the US that was found to contain GMOs and was recorded as doing so five times in one month in 2013. Just as the GMO corn has been turned away and now halted in China, GMO wheat shipped from the US to China has also been continuously turned away. GMO wheat is illegal to be grown here in the US, but a few mystical GM wheat fields were found in the Pacific NW, just a year ago.

As for China and their rice, the Chinese have been moving towards a more self sufficient way with their rice for a few years now. Approximately 90% of China's rice is grown and consumed inside their borders now, which is a main staple, even today, of the Chinese people. As more and more countries are giving the bio-tech giants the boot and turning away shipments of GMO food from other countries, it appears to look as if Monsanto and their partners are being held at bay by the people. GMO food will never be accepted by the masses, as it turns out, and the claims that growing of GMO seeds can result in less use of pesticides and a greater yield have proven to be false as well.