We're ecstatic to announce a new legal initiative in China that's set to keep GE away from the country's staple food.
"This is actually a world-first initiative that deals with GE food legislation at state law level," said Fang Lifeng, the Food and Agriculture campaigner of Greenpeace.
The State Council has released the draft proposal of a grain law that establishes legislation restricting research, field trials, production, sale, import and export of genetically engineered grain seeds. The draft stipulates that no organization or person can employ unauthorized GE technology in any major food product in China.
"There are currently too many loopholes and weak control over GE food and technology in China. This law needs to clarify what 'relevant laws and regulations' can be applied to regulate GE crops. We urge legislators to accelerate the legislation of Genetically Engineered Organisms Bio-safety Law, and also to enhance the supervision of GE food and other products. Otherwise, this law will only be lip service," Fang said.
According to a Greenpeace investigation, over the last 20 years investment on GE technology has been 30 times that on ecological agriculture. "This is a big obstacle for the development of modern sustainable agriculture in China", Fang continued, "China's money must be spent on supporting food that is safe for human consumption and the production of which has taken into account environmental impacts. And GE technology has clearly failed to do either."
"No country should go down the path of GE crop commercialization. Instead every country should reduce the financial support on GE technology and put more investment on agricultural technology that has proved to be safe and effective. This includes ecological agriculture, green technology to control pests and disease, molecular marker-assisted selection, etc."
The announcement comes after a highly successful seven year slog from Greenpeace campaigners to keep GE rice out of the country's food market.
Image © Ma Meiyan / Greenpeace
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