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Could the global tide in support of GMOs be turning? A new report reveals that the formerly pro-GMO Chinese government, one of the largest consumers of GMO food crops in the world, is beginning to crack down on GM corn shipments from the US that have not followed appropriate biosafety regulations.
According to a news brief released today by GMWatch.org, China destroyed three shipments of GM corn imported from the US. GMWatch.org reported:
"The law says that the [Chinese] Ministry of Agriculture must require environmental and food safety tests to be carried out by Chinese institutions, in order to verify data provided by the seed developer. All these documents must be reviewed by the National Biosafety Committee before the MOA can issue a safety certificate. Yet these shipments of US corn did not have the relevant safety certificates and approval documents, according to the news reports below."
The first two shipments are referenced on the website of the Zhuhai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, confirming that two illegal GM corn shipments entered Wanzai Port in Zhuhai City on May 7th, and were subsequently destroyed:
Recently, during inspection and quarantine of imported food from USA by a certain company, the Wanzai Office of Zhuhai Inspection and Quarantine Bureau (in Guangdong Province in the south of China) detected two shipments containing GM corn products, which are not in compliance with China's "Entry and Exit of Genetically Modified Products Inspection and Quarantine Management Approach". The Office destroyed the two shipments of corn according to the provisions.*
The existence of a third shipment was confirmed in a May 19th article appearing on news.china.com.cn titled, "Harbin intercepted a total of 115 kgs of GM corn seeds, which will be destroyed":
Recently, the Harbin Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau intercepted inbound mail of 21 cartons of corn seeds from USA, totaling 115 kgs, which were detected as GM seeds. This is the first time that the Heilongjiang Provincial Inspection and Quarantine System has intercepted inbound corn seeds containing GM ingredients. These corn seeds will be destroyed. *
Surprisingly, despite these seemingly drastic steps by Chinese authorities to destroy GM seeds, an article in China Daily from last year explains that the consumption of GM soybeans is already universal in China, even despite widespread public concerns that they have not been adequately safety tested:
Summary: Imported RR soybeans (Roundup herbicide resistant GM soybeans) has already accounted to over 80% of total consumption of soybeans in China, but the assessment and approval procedures for the initial imported GM soybeans, has been oppugned that it's examination procedures exists with defects. According to news reports, on Feb. 20, 2012, Gu Xiu-lin and other three citizens upon application were approved to check the "certification documents for the GM soybeans obtaining safety certificates".