Beijing to promote industrialization of GM crops

Beijing to promote industrialization of GM crops

Staff Reporter

2013-10-24

Sixty-one scholars recently called for the industrialization of genetically modified (GM) rice in China, which has once again raised the public’s attention on the controversial technology, reports the Chinese-language Beijing News. The country’s Ministry of Agriculture plans to promote the industrialization of GM foods and technology, and accelerate the passing of amendments for related regulations, the paper said. Beijing has also approved GM cotton, rice, corn and papaya to be grown, but a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science added that only cotton and papaya have been allowed for commercial production.China’s government is promoting GM technology as it attempts to address the growing problem of food shortages in the country. It has approved the import of several GM crops, including soybean, corn, rapeseed, cotton and beet to be used for food processing.

A professor at China Agricultural University in Beijing said advanced and developing countries consider GM technology to be an advantage that can help them compete in the global agricultural market. The growing area for GM crops has swelled from 1.7 million acres in 1996 to 170 million acres last year. As of last year, 59 countries allowed imports of GM crops used for food, foraging and cultivation, and of this figure 28 countries granted approval for growing 25 types of GM crops for commercial sale.

Jiang Jinsong, a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, noted however that the argument against GM foods has yet to be heard in full. He said that the issue should be discussed openly and the government should allow the public to decide for themselves whether they want to consume genetically modified food. He added that the public should also debate related issues, such as whether there should be a clear label on products identifying them as GM food.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture has already funded research using miniature pigs, who were fed GM white rice for 90 days. It was reported that the pigs’ growth and condition remain stable, the paper said.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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