Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Greenpeace: Chinese Farmers Are Illegally Growing GMO Corn

Food
Greenpeace: Chinese Farmers Are Illegally Growing GMO Corn

A Greenpeace East Asia investigation into corn production in Liaoning Province, one of China’s major breadbaskets, has found that 93 percent of random field samples and 20 of 21 samples from grain markets and supermarkets in the area tested positive for illegal genetically engineered (GE) contamination.

The commercial production of GE staple crops in China is strictly illegal. Greenpeace calls for an urgent investigation into this large scale GE contamination, for the implementation of measures to prevent its reoccurrence and for the reallocation of resources into promoting ecological agriculture as a solution to China’s food needs.

“The scale of GE contamination is truly shocking,” Li Yifang, head of food and agriculture campaign for Greenpeace, said. “China has strict and clear regulations on GE and the ongoing production of GE corn in Liaoning province breaks these regulations on multiple levels.”

The investigation was carried out from May to December 2015. A combination of rapid testing, sampling and laboratory testing by a third party was used. Samples were taken from five corn growing counties in Liaoning Province from the three main stages of corn production; agricultural seed supplies (supply), fields (production) and local grain silos, markets and supermarkets (distribution). All stages showed a high level of GE contamination. The patents of the discovered GE corn strains belong to international companies Monsanto, Syngenta, Du Pont Pioneer and Dow Chemical.

China’s strict GE regulations only permit the import of GE crops for use as raw materials. At present, no strains of GE corn are allowed to be commercially produced in China. Moreover, products containing imported GE crops must be labeled in order to ensure consumers’ right to know and right to choose. The production of illegal GE corn, which has most likely already entered the supply chain, is in direct violation of this right.

Illegal GE corn cultivation also poses a major risk to local ecosystems, exposing native plants to new competition and the risk of contamination via gene flow.

Greenpeace concludes that an extremely lax and disorganized seed market management system in China has allowed for the production and distribution of illegal GE corn.

“The government must immediately investigate the origins of this large scale GE contamination and implement measures to ensure that this never happens again,” Li Yifang said.

Greenpeace also calls on the government to establish a regular system of seed inspection before the sowing period each year and to establish a strict and comprehensive system to supervise research, breeding and cultivation of GE products. The government should exercise extreme caution in the commercialisation of any GE crops.

GE is not a solution to food security or safety. Greenpeace urges the Chinese government to shift resources to the promotion of ecological agriculture, a more sustainable and safe form of food production.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

FDA Bans Three Chemicals Linked to Cancer From Food Packaging

Venezuela Bans GMO Crops, Passes One of World’s Most Progressive Seed Laws

Teflon’s Toxic Legacy: DuPont Knew for Decades It Was Contaminating Water Supplies

16 Reasons 2016 Will Bring Positive Change to the Global Food System

Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending


piyaset / iStock / Getty Images Plus

In an alarming new study, scientists found that climate change is already harming children's diets.

Read More Show Less
Wildfires within the Arctic Circle in Alaska on June 4, 2020. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data processed by Pierre Markuse. CC BY 2.0

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.

Read More Show Less

In December of 1924, the heads of all the major lightbulb manufacturers across the world met in Geneva to concoct a sinister plan. Their talks outlined limits on how long all of their lightbulbs would last. The idea is that if their bulbs failed quickly customers would have to buy more of their product. In this video, we're going to unpack this idea of purposefully creating inferior products to drive sales, a symptom of late-stage capitalism that has since been coined planned obsolescence. And as we'll see, this obsolescence can have drastic consequences on our wallets, waste streams, and even our climate.

Read More Show Less