Renewable Farming

China’s biggest corn-producing province bans growing of GMO crops

The provincial legislature of China’s Heilongjiang province in northeast China announced Friday, Dec. 16, a ban on growing any genetically modified crops. 

It also bans processing, sale and imports of edible farm products containing GMO ingredients. Food for human consumption currently in inventory must be sold in a special area of retail outlets, clearly marked. Sustainable Pulse has details at this link. 

Provincial lawmakers made the move after a survey of its citizens showed that 91.5% object to GMO crops in the food chain. There’s a strong grassroots uprising against transgenic technology across China, which will eventually lead to a showdown with top communist party leaders who want to showcase Chinese biotechnology as another world-class achievement. 

Heilongjiang province grows more than 30 million tons of corn for grain annually, and is also a major soybean producer. 

Provincial officials are setting up a confrontation with China’s central government. However, several universities and military districts have ordered GMO-free food served in their commissaries in the past two years without central government slapdowns.

China has far more participants in smartphone social media networks than any other nation, and the communist gatekeepers have an almost impossible time controlling the flow of facts among friends.  In 2014, a Chinese disaster prevention advisor for the government, Chen I-Wan, helped organize an international conference in Beijing, which attracted hundreds of experts on biotechnology and food safety. That intensified an upwelling of public concern and helped establish a network of communication among the scientists who got acquainted at the conference. A petition emerged later, asking the central government to require more transparency in approvals of GMO crops and their related toxic technologies.  Here’s a report which leads to the background facts on that move.

If you know Chinese, you can read Chen I-Wan’s blog, which is one of the most widely followed across ag interests in China: