The story appears on

Page A8

February 8, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

No proof genetically modified crops unsafe, scientists say

CHINESE food and agricultural experts said no evidence has proved genetically modified crops are unsafe for people and the environment.

Huang Dafang, director of the Biotechnology Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said genetically modified crops are of great significance to the sustainable development of agriculture and China's competitiveness in the global arena.

"It could help increase the output to ease the food supply strain caused by shrinking farmland," Huang said.

"We have a technical advantage in hybrid rice planting. The genetic modification technology could ensure China's superiority in food production."

China, which has 1.3 billion people, has put food security high on the agenda in its national development planning.

China's central authorities issued a document on January 31, which calls for pushing forward the industrialization of genetically modified crops on the basis of scientific appraisal and management in accordance with law.

However, people are concerned with the safety of genetically modified food.

Wu Yongning, a food safety specialist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said current studies have not proved genetically modified food harmful to human health.

Wu said genetically modified food has to pass scrupulous testing in order to get on shelves, including laboratory and field studies, toxicity and allergy tests.

Besides, health administrations will establish a system to monitor and report adverse effects, said Wu.

"I am not ruling out all possible risks, but those risks of genetically modified food are no greater than that of traditional ones, given the heavy use of pesticide in growing traditional food," he said.

The State Council of China introduced a regulation in 2001 to ensure the safety of genetically modified food, with strict provisions on its research, testing, production and marketing.

Huang Dafang said genetically modified food is less vulnerable to insects and diseases and, as a result, less pesticide is needed to grow them, which is safer to humans and the environment.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend