Taiwan Bans GMOs in School Meals Due to Health Risks

Taiwan Bans GMOs in School Meals Due to Health Risks

The government in Taiwan recently passed legislation that would effectively prohibit any food containing genetically modified ingredients from being served to children in school meals. [1]

The decision was made primarily due to potential health and environmental hazards revolving around genetically modified foods, as stated by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Shu-fen, one of the amendments’ sponsors.

Taiwan imports nearly 2.3 million tons of soybeans each year, with 90% being genetically engineered. Though the GM crop is primarily used as animal feed in Taiwan, if the soybeans were used in meals for schoolchildren, Shu-fen and others fear that it would have a negative impact on both physical and psychological health.

Legislator Lu Shiow-yen of the Kuomintang agrees, saying that children would be the victims of unnecessary risks if they were exposed to foods containing GMOs.

The result? Legislation that bans GMOs from school meals, along with the promotion of consuming locally-grown, fresh farm produce and other food ingredients.

What’s more, 103 of the city’s 235 schools had already omitted GMOs, so the other portion of schools will now have to follow suit probably within the next year.

The news comes shortly after Russia’s Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would be the world’s #1 exporter of non-GMO foods. In the recent address to the Russian Parliament, he proudly outlined his plan to make Russia the world’s ‘leading exporter’ of non-GMO foods that are based on ‘ecologically-clean’ production.

What’s more, Putin went on to harshly criticize food production in the United States, declaring that Western food producers are no longer offering high quality, healthy, and ecologically-clean food.

“We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources – Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing,” Putin said.

In the US, government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration are placing even softer restrictions of GMOs as a whole, recently deregulating 2 more genetically engineered corn strains while suppressing GMO labeling initiatives across the nation. This, while communities around the country, as well as states as a whole, push for the ban or at least labeling of GMOs.