Biotech Updates

China Increases Funds to Inform the Public About GM crops

February 4, 2011

Scientists in China received 2.6 million yuan (US$400,000) government funding to inform the public about genetically modified (GM) crops, as a response to the protests against the technology. This fund was given late last year and communication activities has now started.

In 2009, the ministry issued safety certificates for GM rice and maize which are now undergoing field trials. Since then, anti-GM sentiments started to rise leading to the signing of public petition for the ministry's withdrawal of the safety lincenses.

The government of China continues to promote GM research, which is one of the primary ways to feed its growing population, Premier Wen Jiabao once said, "Solving the food security problem should rely on big science and technology, on biotechnology and transgenic technology."

"As scientists, we have a responsibility to communicate with the public directly," said Lin Min, a member of the ministry of agriculture's GM safety committee and director of the Biotechnology Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.