Most seed companies of the world are concerned that China is trying to steal seed genetics to produce their own version of patented seed, but an article out of China claims the government is concerned about “counterfeit seeds” being sold within the country.
In a chinadaily.com article, it was reported that seed specialists have called on the government to pay attention to seed security suggesting that customs inspection should be more attentive to seed imported and its genetics being proven as it comes into the country.
Hunan police uncovered so-called "golden corn,” that was counterfeit. An explanation of golden corn was not provided except that the counterfeit seed was smuggled and was almost worthless. A crop failure of counterfeit seed occurred in 2012 but the government just recently arrested “people suspected of smuggling and illegally selling the counterfeit seeds.”
The chinadaily.com wrote about the instance in one county, “In May 2012, 29 households in the county planted more than 13 hectares of the so-called U.S. golden corn seed, but the farmers reaped nothing at harvest time, police said.
“After a test of the county's agricultural authority, the seed was deemed unqualified because its germination rate was only 16 percent, far below the nation's standard, police said, adding that the farmers' losses totaled more than 600,000 yuan ($98,820).”
The seed supposedly was sold by what had been thought to be a reputable seed company, and the farmers attempted to get compensation, but without results that satisfied the farmers. The police were called into the dispute and found the company imported the seeds without a due quarantine and inspection process. The seed was widely distributed as the police traced more than 6,667 hectares having been planted in 2012. Tracing the illegal seed sales determined that the company and affiliated distributor had been smuggling seeds through Thailand since 2003.
Under the Chinese Seed Law issued in 2000, China allows private and foreign seed companies to join the market instead of only government-run seed businesses, according to chinadaily.com. Calls from China seed companies is for the government to improve its supervision of the seed business to stop smuggling.