China GMO research funding slides

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Chinese research funding into genetically-modified organisms (GMO) has fallen by 80 percent over the last four years, a member of a parliamentary advisory body said, as Beijing faces public unease over a technology it has been promoting to boost food security.

The government has urged its scientists to take a global lead in GMO, although it has been reluctant to commercialize GMO crops given public concerns over health risks.

Safety approvals for pest-resistant Bt rice as well as phytase corn, designed as a more environmentally friendly feed for pigs, were completed as early as 2009. But the world's largest buyer of imported GMO soy and cotton has not approved commercial production of GMO grains.

It has also delayed approval of new strains of imported GMO corn such as the MIR162 variant developed by Syngenta.

China's spending on GMO research has fallen to around 400 million yuan ($65.38 million) in 2013, down from as much as 2 billion yuan in 2010, Ke Bingsheng, president of the China Agricultural University, said in an address to Premier Li Keqiang during last week's annual session of parliament.

Ke said agriculture technology, particularly GMO, was crucial for a rapidly urbanising China to increase food production from its shrinking farmlands and water resources.

"GMO technology is extremely important to increase yields and efficiency," Ke said, according to a transcript of his speech made available by his university.

Beijing agreed an initial budget of 26 billion yuan to fund GMO development under a 12-year programme launched in 2008.

Ke did not say why the funding had fallen.

Huang Dafang, a researcher with Biotechnology Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said: "It depends a lot on leadership: if they have wavered, the funding could have been cut, although we need to verify the data."

The safety of genetically modified food was in the spotlight at the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's largely rubber-stamp legislature.

Agriculture minister Han Changfu said that he himself ate genetically modified food, given that GMO soy was already in the food chain. He said, however, the commercialisation of staple foods would proceed with caution and in the first stage only GMO cotton and then feed grain would be planted.

Former television presenter and anti-GMO campaigner, Cui Yongyuan, wrote in a proposal to the advisory body, the China People's Political Consultative Conference, that GMO had not improved yields, was unsafe and also threatened China's food security by handing control over to multinational companies. He called on the government to ban seed firms from doing research and stop commercialising GMO grains.

Cui, also a member of the advisory body to parliament, told reporters that GMO grains had been illegally planted in at least four Chinese provinces and he said he has asked the agriculture ministry to improve supervision.

Ke said public debate over the technology had become muddled.

"GMO is a scientific issue, but it has become complicated. No countries have the same misunderstandings (as China) over the issue," Ke said in his speech.

The agriculture minister said China currently only permitted the growing of GMO cotton and papaya.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (1) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left

Ella Baker    
Sydney  |  March, 15, 2014 at 07:48 AM

Indeed, China has the funds for GMO food production. http://geneticallyengineeredfoodnews.com


Portable Conveyors

Convey-all portable conveyors are designed to handle your crops gently and efficiently. We offer an extensive line of high capacity ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form