What the Illegal, ‘Rogue’ GM Corn in China Says About GMO Regulation

What the Illegal, ‘Rogue’ GM Corn in China Says About GMO Regulation

Beijing has spent billions developing GMO crops in the hopes of securing food for its burgeoning population, but there has not yet been approval for the commercial cultivation of these crops, partly due to a deep-seated distrust of genetically modified crops by the Chinese public. Nonetheless, GM corn is already growing in China illegally, causing further distrust in the government’s ability to regulate GM crops.

In Northeast China farmers are already growing GM corn, and these crops can easily contaminate others which are not genetically modified. This is one of the many concerns the Chinese have concerning biotech seed. A Greenpeace report urges that Beijing will be unable to supervise GM planting once it is given a green light for cultivation, leading to widespread contamination of other crops.

Already, a wide sample of seeds taken from grain markets and corn-based food at supermarkets prove the GM contamination has already begun. These foods have tested positive for genetic modification. Among the six corn seed strains that tested positive in the Liaoning seed market, three have not been certified by China’s agriculture ministry, while three others were certified as conventional seeds and therefore had been contaminated by GMO varieties.

All of the GM corn seeds were found to be from large agricultural companies such as Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, and Syngenta.

What does this say about government regulation of GMOs? There are already a plethora of reasons the population doesn’t want GMOs – do we seriously have to worry about a lack of restriction when it comes to GMOs contaminating natural environments? The fact that GMOs are illegally being found in fields and foods is reason enough for a transformation in the biotech sector.

The report states:

“It is very likely that much of the illegal GE corn has already entered grain storage warehouses, wholesale and retail markets across the country, ultimately ending up in citizens’ food.”

Greenpeace recommended that all GM seed found be destroyed.