(NaturalHealth365) A fierce public debate over GMOs between China’s governing bodies is reaching a fever pitch. Frantically seeking ways to feed its near 1.5 billion citizens, the country is split in two. Ultimately, being the potentially largest consumer of GM food crops, their decision can determine the future of GMOs for the entire world.
China is divided over GMOs
The anti-GMO camp has been led by a major-general in the People’s Liberation Army who contends that if China implements GMOs as their solution to feeding their exponentially growing population, the Asian powerhouse will fall into some sort of diabolical conspiracy from Western countries to subvert their food supply. In a recent column from the nationalist daily Global times, for example, Secretary-General of China’s National Security Policy Committee Peng Guangqian posed the question, “If things change and the West cuts off our grain supply, are 1.3 billion people going to drink the northwestern wind?”
Rebutting Guangqian’s arguments was Ministry of Agriculture Lin Min, who holds the deciding authority regarding Chinese GMO policy. Also the director of the Biotechnology Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Min insists that Guangqian’s contention that “many scientists through experiments have proven GMO food is highly linked to cancer and infertility,” has been proven incorrect and that GMOs are permissible for their citizens to consume.
GMOs could create a ‘modern’ cold war
Lin has used the argument that GMO crops are safe and that the U.S. is indeed not engaging in covert biochemical warfare because the Americans consume more GMOs than any other country in the world. But does the fact that Americans eat GMOs prove that they are permissible for human consumption?
According to Lin, yes, it does. “This conspiracy theory is a product of Cold War thinking,” Lin says, “Government-approved GMO food and non-GMO food are equally safe…If GMO research has any benefit, it is first and foremost in the national interest.”
Looks like China is turning to GMOs to solve their food crisis
Last month, Agriculture.com reported an unprecedented approval by the Chinese government to import 60,000 metric tons of GM corn from Argentina. This was the first time China has allowed such a large-scale shipment to enter their docks. Arriving in mid-July, the grain was sold by the state to domestic feed producers.
Agriculture.com reports that, “In the first six months this year, China’s corn imports reached 1.5 million tons, of which the U.S. accounted for 99 percent and Argentina accounted for 3 tons.” In addition to this breaking news, the Wall Street Journal reported this past week that, “In June, Beijing added import permits for three kinds of GMO soybeans produced by U.S. giant Monsanto and German chemical producer BASF.”
Clearly, China is embracing GMO’s, but to what level will they pursue them as a solution to feeding their country?
Didn’t China take an anti-GMO stance earlier this summer?
What’s confusing about these recent maneuvers is that China made headlines for destroying three shipments of GM corn that was imported from the U.S. According to GMWatch.org, “The shipments were illegal under China’s GMO biosafety law.” Evidently, the Ministry of Agriculture mandates that Chinese authorities conduct food safety tests on all food imports before they are sold to the public and, because these shipments supposedly did not have the required documentation, it was destroyed.
This “breaking news” went viral within the anti-GMO camp and was used to suggest that China was against GMOs. Obviously, this is not the case. Otherwise how can we explain the recent Agricultural import decisions from the state?
What is interesting, however, is that China may be showing some glaring prejudiced against American-engineered GMOs. And this story seems to have just begun.
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