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GM Food: Blight or Bonanza?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

The GM debate has recently heated up in China though GM crops are grown safely on 170 million hectares worldwide. China itself is a big importer of GM corn and soybeans. Tan Weiyun talks to people on both sides.

To eat or not to eat - that is the question increasingly asked in China. The issue of genetically modified organisms, GM foods, is making headlines and the debate is fierce.

After 20 years of commercial growing worldwide, a broad scientific consensus exists that GM food is safe, but debate has heated up in China and it's getting emotional.

Several education campaigns have been launched by experts and organizations to persuade the public that GM food is safe to eat and has many benefits. These include hardiness, high yield, resistance to pests, disease, drought and herbicides, among others.

GM food tastings, including golden (vitamin A-enriched) rice dishes and education forums have been held around the country.

The Chinese government isn't taking sides. It supports more education.

"We and related government departments will strengthen our work to let more people know what a genetically modified organism (GMO) is, understand it and eliminate their worries about the safety of GM food products," Agriculture Ministry spokesman Bi Meijia said in a briefing on December 6, according to Reuters.    


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