Greenpeace welcomes China's legal initiative to keep GE away from the country's staple food

Says India should learn from its neighbour

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Press release - February 23, 2012
New Delhi, 24 February 2012: Chinese government has finally put out its long awaited policy on GM crops this week for public inputs. 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 GE technology in any major food crops in China.[1]

Appreciating the Chinese govt move to outlaw genetic modification of staple crops in the country and bring out a stringent regulatory system Fang Lifeng, the Food and Agriculture campaigner of Greenpeace China said, "However, 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 Bio-safety Law with regard to Genetically Engineered organisms, and also to enhance the supervision of GE food and other products. Otherwise, this law will only be lip service."

China had last year suspended commercialisation of GM rice and wheat owing to widespread opposition to it amongst general public and experts.[2]

Reacting to the development in China, Neha Saigal, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner Greenpeace India said, "While countries like China are taking the lead in adopting a precautionary approach to genetic modification in food, India is moving backwards by pushing legislation's like the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill 2011 which lowers the bar for approval of GM crops."

The BRAI Bill, 2011 [3] was listed for introduction both during the monsoon and winter session of last year but had to be stopped because of the opposition inside and outside the parliament. The bill is expected to create a single window clearance system that will lower the bar for the approval of genetically modified crops which are in a controversy around the world owing to the potential dangers they pose to human health, environment and livelihoods dependent on farming.

Greenpeace India had released a legal assessment of the BRAI bill this month [4] and demands that Our government should take the cue from this global rejection of GM crops and steer clear of them. The way forward is ecological agriculture which ensures food safety and food security for the country while protecting the livelihoods of communities dependent on agriculture.

Notes to the Editor

(1) a translated version of the relevant part of the draft grain law is attached.


(3) Link to BRAI bill:,%202011.pdf

(4) Link to the legal assessment report of BRAI bill:


Fang Lifeng, Sustainable Agriculture Campaign, Greenpeace East Asia

Mob: O: +86 10-65546931-112 F: +86 10-65546932

Rajesh Krishnan, Sustainable Agriculture Campaign, Greenpeace India

Mob: +91-984 565 0032 email:

Pari Trivedi, Media Officer, Greenpeace India

Mob: +91-750 389 3981 email:

Notes to the Editor:,%202011.pdf