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China Launches GMO Support Campaign

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A media campaign in China seeks to boost support of genetically modified crops as official’s battle negative publicity over a technology that Reuters reports China hopes will play a major role in boosting food security. China’s agriculture ministry announced earlier this week they are working to educate the public on genetic engineering via TV, newspapers and the internet. According to the report by Reuters, they hope to stifle anti-GMO sentiment that has gathered momentum in the wake of incidents such as reports that genetically-modified rice had been illegally sold at a supermarket in the country. Beijing has been a long-time proponent of GMOs, which it sees as broadly safe and as potentially key in helping feed the world’s largest population.

Critics have alleged the technology could pose health risks, and while China allows imports of some GMO crops it is yet to permit domestic cultivation. China consumes around a third of the world’s soybeans, and snaps up roughly 65 percent of all imports each year. A stream of negative reports this year on certain biotech foods has dragged on already-slow progress towards domestic cultivation and may have played a role in curbing imports of some crops