China is now primarily focused on commercial cultivation of non-food genetically modified (GM) crops, and has not approved plantation of any single GM food crop to be commercialized yet, said China’s top agricultural official at a press conference on Tuesday.
China is to push the commercialization of GM crops on the blueprint of non-food, transgenic feedstuff and finally GM food crops, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture. Han Changbin, minister of agriculturer emphasized that till now, China has not yet approved the commercialization of any GM food crop. “We strictly prohibit illegal commercialization of GM plantation,” said Han.
When asked if the country’s attitude toward transgenic technology has changed, Zhang Taolin, vice agriculture minister, noted that transgenic science is the cutting-edge technology of modern biotechnology, and the technology is secure and controllable.
Responding to concerns about strengthened enforcement targeting illegal practices in the sector, Zhang explained the GM food crops under investigation in illegal plantation have acquired security certificate overseas and China’s safety certificate for imports. “They are planted overseas extensively, which means they are safe. However, they have not been approved by us based on our evaluation rules and procedures. So, we still prohibit the (GM food crops) from being grown (in China).”
Since 1992 till now, China has developed wide cultivation of GM cotton.