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THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: CHINA PULLS THE PLUG ON GMO RICE AND CORN RESEARCH

There's more international news about GMOs, and it's another significant blow at GMOs. China has not renewed licenses on strains of GMO rice and GMO corn for research:

China pulls plug on genetically modified rice and corn

Here's the keystone of the article's arch:

"Why the ministry allowed the certificates to lapse is in dispute. Some environmentalists say public worries about GM crops played a decisive role. "We believe that loopholes in assessing and monitoring [GM] research, as well as the public concern around safety issues are the most important reasons that the certifications have not been renewed," writes Wang Jing, a Greenpeace official based in Beijing, in an e-mail to ScienceInsider.

"Others believe agricultural economics also influenced the decision. China has nearly reached self-sufficiency in producing rice using conventional varieties, so the ministry has decided there is no need to commercialize Bt rice in the near future, says Huang Jikun, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy. He says that with commercialization off the table, there was no point in renewing the certifications. Huang says "rising public concerns [about the] safety of GM rice" likely also played a role.

"Whatever the reason, the decision marks an abrupt change in fortunes for transgenic rice in China. Five years ago, "China was widely expected to soon put GM rice on the country’s dining tables," wrote Cao Cong, a China policy expert at University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, in a post on The Conversation, an Australian website. The Bt rice project "is now to all intents and purposes dead and buried," he wrote, blaming an "anti-GM movement whose power and influence are more than matched by its fervour and sheer, undiluted paranoia.'"

Now, reading between the lines a bit, the article is maintaining that the Chinese government is (1) bowing to popular concerns about GMO safety issues and concerns, and (2) has attained self-sufficiency in rice production by not using GMO rice. The latter implication is hugely significant, because it implies the Chinese government may have discovered, during the course of its research on GMOs, what has been discovered by some Western farmers and universities: the use of GMOs over time, along with "monoculture" planting methods, actually results in falling yields, not rising ones. Indeed, I blogged earlier this year about a University of Iowa study that indicates some problems. We can, of course, write off the Australian website comment about GMO concerns being "sheer undiluted paranoia" as a kind of sheer, undiluted paranoia of its own designed to divert attention away from what has been the main issue all along, and that is, the utter lack of any genuine independent intergenerational research on the environmental effects of GMOs.

Food is, of course, a major national security issue for any self-respecting Chinese government, after all, that nation has the world's largest population to feed. India is another, and unfortunately, for the moment, under the West's GMO thumb.... but what if China shares its research and concerns with fellow BRICSA nation India?

If that were to happen, then I suspect we're watching the beginning of my long-hypothesized transformation of the GMO issue into a geopolitical one by the BRICSA nations.

See you on the flip side.

7 thoughts on “THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: CHINA PULLS THE PLUG ON GMO RICE AND CORN RESEARCH”

  1. @”India is another, and unfortunately, for the moment, under the West’s GMO thumb..”

    @“The ministry, with much fanfare, had approved the GM rice certificates in August 2009. The permits enabled a group at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan to produce two varieties of rice carrying a gene from the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria that provides pest resistance.”

    Evidently, the same “GMO thumb” had something to do with the ministry of Agriculture’s decision to allow the research of GM rice by this particular University back in 2009, because the same year the University entered a collaboration with Monsanto.
    http://news.monsanto.com/press-release/monsanto-and-huazhong-agricultural-university-enter-collaboration-focusing-development

    Despite the approval of the research of two strains of GM rice, the commercialization of GM rice is still not allowed. Yet, the next year, illegal GM rice were discovered in certain supermarkets by an investigation initiated by Green Peace China in March, in the province(and adjacent provinces)where Huazhong Agricultural University is located.
    http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/1-news-items/12310-chinese-govt-crackdown-on-gm-rice

    The local medias reported this story also noted that local Chinese rice traders have little knowledge of GM rice, but they have grasp of one fact “no one wants GM rice” for a simple reason, “locally produced non-GMO rice taste better than GM rice”.

    However, the same year in September, an interview with Kevin Eblen, Monsanto CEO in China was conducted by a local media, when asked:
    “according to investigation by Green Peace, the planting of GM rice which most likely to be commercialized are those produced by Huazhong Agricultural University, about 11 to 12 of the patents associated with those GM rice are foreign, many of them belong to Monsanto. Would you tell the details of collaboration with Huazhong University?”

    He replied” “Monsanto has no research on GM rice, either with Huazhong University, or by Monsanto itself. The “Bio-tech rice” products that you mentioned have been approved by the Chinese with safety certificates month ago, the patents of those essential technology in GM rice are independently researched by China.”
    Kevin Eblen did admit that Monsanto wants to introduce GMO corns to China.

    Its interesting to note, the media report of this interview started with a “preface” that mentions William Engdahl’s name,

    “according to its official website, Monsanto is an agriculture company, but according to American author William Engdahl, the GMO technology by Monsanto is “a new Opium War”. Is Monsanto, the provider of abundance of food, the angel of protecting the environment, or the pirate of life, and the devil playing with genes?”

    He also denied any scary internet rumors about “terminator seeds”,

    and when asked about the safety of GMO products, how long for safety tests before a particular GMO product is commercialized by Monsanto, are there any safety tests on humans beside animals?
    He replied:”i have 4 kids and a dog, we all eat GMO foods and we are perfectly healthy. Monsanto guarantees that safety control is the most important thing in our research.”

    I think these background stories are directly linked to this development of “CHINA PULLS THE PLUG ON GMO RICE AND CORN RESEARCH”.

  2. Am I getting old or does it seem to anyone else out there that the worlds powers are changing into each other. Where as the communist powers were broke all the time and against their people using police state method to silence the masses, imposing its will on smaller nations militarily. Now america and western europe have taken over the communist opppressive mantal and the eastern powers have moved more towards free economies and democracy and have surpassed everyone else in the process,seemingly more responsive and responsible to their populations. HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? Did I fall asleep for 20 years or something,Cheez louise the Chinese are still communists and they have the most successful capitalist economy in the world ..under communism ..something I was taught in economics was simply impossible. Is there some other power out there(up there? down there?) that can manipulate both the east and the west at the same time causing this unnoticed polar shift in the worlds political value’s And just who could that be,who would benefit from the chaos and confusion? Doktor,you have the floor.

  3. Self sufficient in rice? Just at the time that a drought is hitting California and rice production (along with everything else grown there) will be affected negatively.

    Now about exporting what they learned to Africa, India, South America. That could cause some serious competition.

    So how many GMO crops are still allowed to be grown in China? Imported? Count on the screws tightening ever so steadily.

  4. Rice at least in Southern China is a major crop. Wheat is the major crop in Northern China so they’re not going to take any unnecessary risks with their prime food sources. As for Maize to give it’s proper name they soon be banning the GMO version of that too. China has been around to many millennia and has been screwed by the West and they have long memories to trust these gangsters.

  5. Robert Barricklow

    China is making some great moves.
    Not only in this GMO sphere; but I just posted an article[below] here, that China has struck an $11 billion swap in currencies with Argentina. The first billion is coming out soon.

    1. Yes the 6th currency swap arrangement and it totals 100 billion US dollars in trade that will not be in US dollars.

      The USA has bribed, overthrown, killed and invaded (BOKI) every country that has tried to go off the dollar for oil knowing that oil controlled trade. Now Russia and China are doing it.

      This is giving coverage for other countries to do trade without it as well. You can just imagine the head of a small country answering the threats from the USA “but they want to be paid in the the yuan so we have to” and the real kicker “maybe you should talk to them about it”.

      Interesting times indeed.

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